Fall Color in Ottawa

Fall Color in Ottawa

An astronaut onboard the International Space Station shot this photo of peak fall colors around Ottawa, the capital of Canada. West of downtown Ottawa lies Gatineau Park, where sugar maple leaves turn orange-red and hickories turn golden-bronze during the season, known regionally as “the Fall Rhapsody.”

The city of Ottawa is located at the confluence of three important waterways: the Ottawa River, the Gatineau River, and Rideau Canal. The Ottawa River provides fresh drinking water to the region and joins the Saint-Lawrence River further east at Montreal. The Rideau Canal connects the Ottawa River to Lake Ontario, about 160 kilometers (100 miles) to the south.

In the early 1800s, the logging industry became prevalent in the Ottawa Valley due to a high demand for timber from the British Empire and, later, from the United States. Trees were cut in winter, as it was easier to transport logs to the river via sleds on frozen roads. In the spring, the timber rafts were floated down the Ottawa River. Logging was mainly concentrated along the river, where the topography was easier to navigate than the Gatineau Hills. Today, paper products produced from the Ottawa River Valley are an important export for Canada’s economy.

Tucked within Ottawa’s suburbs is the Central Experimental Farm, which was established in 1886. This research station was created to answer farm production questions related to all aspects of Canada’s agriculture, including plant breeding, animal products, weather, and soils.

Astronaut photograph ISS063-E-107777 was acquired on October 14, 2020, with a Nikon D5 digital camera using an 800 millimeter lens and is provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations Facility and the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, Johnson Space Center. The image was taken by a member of the Expedition 63 crew. The image has been cropped and enhanced to improve contrast, and lens artifacts have been removed. The International Space Station Program supports the laboratory as part of the ISS National Lab to help astronauts take pictures of Earth that will be of the greatest value to scientists and the public, and to make those images freely available on the Internet. Additional images taken by astronauts and cosmonauts can be viewed at the NASA/JSC Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth. Caption by Andrea Meado, Jacobs/JETS Contract at NASA-JSC.

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