Thursday, March 11, 2010

Early March Snow as Seen from NASA's Terra Satellite

By early this month several winter storms had left snow cover over much of The Northeast Quadrant. Mostly clear skies over the eastern United States and Canada allowed the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite this unobstructed view on March 6.

The navy blue of the eastern Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean contrasts with the snow cover in this true-color image. South of Lake Ontario, the Finger Lakes resemble giant claw marks in otherwise snow-covered New York. Snow appears the most opaque in Ohio, central New York, and between Lake Huron and its neighboring lakes to the east. In Canada, the mottled appearance likely results from a combination of snow cover and forest.

Terra, which launched ten years ago on Dec. 18, 1999, is a multi-national NASA scientific research satellite in a sun-synchronous orbit around the Earth. It is the flagship of NASA's Earth Observing System. Terra carries a payload of five remote sensors designed to monitor the state of Earth's environment and ongoing changes in its climate system. In the decade since Terra launched, scientists have gained insight into the intricate connections that shape our planet's climate.

Congratulations to NASA on this Terra-ific decade in orbit!