NASA MODIS Image of the day
The Yucatan Peninsula
The Yucatan Peninsula
May 5, 2021

The gorgeous greens and sun-warmed beaches of the Yucatan Peninsula are clearly evident in the true-color image acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on board NASA’s Terra satellite on May 3, 2021.

The Peninsula is comprised of several Mexican states, including Yucatan in the north, Quintana Roo to east, and Campeche to the west. Mexico shares the Peninsula with Belize, which sits along the southeastern coast, and Guatemala, which is found south and east of Campeche.

The weather in the Yucatan tends to be hot year-round and is divided into two main seasons: the wet season and the dry season. Running from November to May, the dry season appeals to sun-loving tourists, but the wet season, with high humidity and frequent downpours, that feeds the rainforests and spurs vegetative growth across the Peninsula.

Acquired after months of hot, dry days, this image shows substantial tan across the Peninsula. The tan color indicates open land with little vegetation. Cement-colored pixels mark human structures, such as cities and roads. The largest area of cement-gray, seen in the northwest, is the city of Merida. Many small gray dots near Merida mark smaller cities, all strung together by roadways. Agricultural lands, marked by tell-tale right-angled, neat patches of light green or tan, stretch along much of the Yucatan Peninsula, especially in the south. Many such patches can be seen at the edges of green forest. When viewing this image, it becomes strikingly obvious that the hands of humans has encroached deeply into the rainforest, both by adding structures and through deforestation for agricultural purposes.

Image Facts
Satellite: Terra
Date Acquired: 5/3/2021
Resolutions: 1km (461.2 KB), 500m (1.2 MB), 250m (800.1 KB)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC
 Courtesy of NASA MODIS Website

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