Within just a few days the trees surrounding Lake Superior and Lake Michigan have gone from a deep green to a vibrant orange as autumn steals across the region. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor on NASA’s Terra satellite captured these peak fall colors around the Great Lakes on October 10, 2003, shown in the top true-color image. There are few signs of the impending change in the bottom MODIS image, taken just four days earlier by the Aqua satellite.
The high-resolution image provided above shows the autumn colors at MODIS’ maximum spatial resolution of 250 meters per pixel.
The forests of northern Michigan and southern Ontario flamed orange as the first trees of the season—maples—began to display their brilliant red and orange fall colors. Veins of green run through the sea of orange where the deciduous forest gives way to deep green pine trees. The most vivid color is concentrated in Canada’s province of Ontario. Located farther south, Michigan’s trees show only a hint of color.