18 Apr '12, 11pm

Spring arrives in the mid-Atlantic U.S.: view from space on a clear day, courtesy of our Aqua satellite.

Spring arrives in the mid-Atlantic U.S.: view from space on a clear day, courtesy of our Aqua satellite.

At ground level, tulips and daffodils mark the arrival of spring. But from a satellite's vantage point, the wash of green that appears across the forests of the eastern United States is one of the most noticeable signs of winter's passing. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite captured this view of spring greening on April 7, 2012, an unusually cloud free day. The deepest greens of lush foliage are most visible throughout the Piedmont, a forested plateau between the Appalachians and the lower elevation plains along the Atlantic coast. The Appalachians appear brown because cooler temperatures at higher elevations cause a lag in the greening. In this case, the trees at the higher elevations were likely still in bloom and hadn't started to produce leaves. The speckles of tan throughout the coastal plain are agricultural ...

Full article: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=77705

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