NASA's Terra satellite observed dozens of fires (red pixels) burning in
Mexico on May 28, 2001. This true-color scene, acquired by the
Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), spans the region
of the southern end of the Baja Peninsula (left), across the Gulf of
California, and over the Sierra Madre Mountains running southeastward
through the Province of Sinaloa (center and lower right).
The green hues show the location of Sinaloa's tropical coniferous
forests west of the Sierra Madre Mountains. The climate there is
semi-arid and conditions are often ripe this time of year for wildfire
Other features that can be seen in this image are the city of La Paz,
the emerald cluster of pixels located on the southern side of the Bay of
La Paz, on the southeastern shore of the Baja Peninsula. The famous
tourist location of Cabo San Lucas sits at the very southern tip of
Baja. Due east of Cabo San Lucas, across the Gulf of California, the
small light brown cluster of pixels on the gulf's eastern shore reveals
the location of the city of Mazatlan. The large, bright area on the
surface of the water is due to the reflection of the sun (glint).
Moving northward along the eastern shore of the gulf, there is a
considerable amount of sediment (perhaps mixed with phytoplankton) in
the water. In the high resolution version of this scene, many
agricultural fields can be seen along this shore to the north.
Image courtesy Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team