A beautifully clear day over Canada allowed the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Aqua satellite to capture several striking multiple true-color images of the island of Newfoundland on November 12, 2010. Off the west coast, the island is separated from the Canadian mainland by the Gulf of St. Lawrence and, at the narrow northernmost point, the Strait of Belle Isle, while all the other Newfoundland coasts face the Atlantic Ocean. Near the northern tip of the eastern most peninsula, the city of St. Johnís is visible as a long gray smudge on the land.
In order to view the island in its entirety, three swaths of MODIS imagery which were collected on two different satellite passes were pieced together to form this composite image. The first pass, at 15:35 UTC was centered just east of the island, and captured the North Atlantic Ocean and associated marine clouds. On the second pass, the five-minute data collection intervals captured a part of the island in each set, one at 17:10 UTC and the other at 17:15 UTC. Because these two sets were captured at nearly the same time, the colors and light reflectance are very similar, allowing for almost invisible seaming of the two sets over land of Northern Newfoundland. In contrast, the seam over the ocean is easily seen, because almost two and a half hours passed between orbits, allowing surface reflectance to change as well as movement of cloud patterns.
Much of the island Newfoundland is an extension of the Appalachian system. As can easily been seen in this image, the major bays, peninsulas, river systems and mountain ranges are primarily oriented southwest to northeast, parallel to the Appalachians. The island, now in mid-autumn, is dressed in greens and tan. The greens represent vegetation, primarily coniferous trees growing on the mountainsides and other evergreen plants scattered throughout the landscape. Tans indicate areas of sparse or senescent vegetation, such as mountain ridges, rocky areas and dry grasslands.