Status Report

NASA MODIS Image of the Day: November 29, 2010 – Central America

By SpaceRef Editor
November 29, 2010
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NASA MODIS Image of the Day: November 29, 2010 – Central America
NASA MODIS Image of the Day: November 29, 2010 - Central America


On November 16, 2010 the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer aboard the Terra satellite passed over southern Mexico and Central America, capturing a striking true-color image of green vegetation and rugged tan mountain tops.

In the west, the Pacific Lowlands form a narrow strip of light green-covered land.

From this strip rises the tall peaks of the Sierra Madres, whose rugged terrain is home to volcanic activity. To the east, the flatlands of the Yucatan Peninsula support both agriculture and tropical vegetation and appear a deep emerald green. Bright green and turquoise sediment glows in the waters of two bays leading into the Caribbean Sea. Another patch of sediment can also be seen in the Gulf of Mexico, near the gray circle that marks the city of Campeche. A notable geographic feature which can be seen in this image is the Isthmus of Tehuantpec, a north to south feature which marks the shortest distance between the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean. The northern section of the Isthmus can be clearly seen to the west of the Yucatan Peninsula, while the southernmost point is hidden under a light cloud cover. Prior to the opening of the Panama Canal, this area served as a major trade route, although the swampy terrain and dense jungle in the northern section is a great obstacle to construction. The southern edge of the North American tectonic plate lies across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec,so this feature forms the geological division of North American from Central America. Mexico, which lies in the west and north of this image, is also divided by Isthmus. The other countries of Central America seen in this image are Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, and El Salvador.

SpaceRef staff editor.