South America 08/14/02

MODIS image of South America

MODIS bands 1,4,3 RGB true color image of South America on the 14th of August 2002.

Snow and clouds cover the Andes Mountain Range in southern Chile and Argentina in this true-color Terra MODIS image acquired August 14, 2002. The snow on the mountains emphasizes the ridges and valleys, making them look all the more dramatic against the relatively bare earth of Inner Argentina. The low-lying clouds also tend to follow the land's shape along their edges, but do not reveal the shapes underneath them as well as the snow blankets do, and they have a distinctive fluffy visual texture that the snows lack. The higher resolutions of the image illustrate the differences in better detail.

Large lakes are also visible glowing brilliantly blue and green against the white and brown land and clouds. In order from top to bottom, the lakes are Lago General Carrera, Lago Cochrane, Lago Quiroga and Strobel (the two small lakes in the center of the image), Lago O'Higgins, Lago Cardiel (next to Lago O'Higgins), Lago Viedma, and Lago Argentino. To the left of Chile is the southern Pacific Ocean, to the right of Argentina is the southern Atlantic Ocean, and to the south of both countries is the Drake Passage, which separates South America from Antarctica by over 800 kilometers (about 500 miles) of some of the most treacherous seas on the planet.

Image and text courtesy of NASA's MODIS Land Rapid Response Team.