Late spring in Scandinavia brings warming temperatures, blooming flowers and longer days. This true-color image of a sunny late spring day was captured on May 23, 2013 by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) flying aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite.
Snow covers the Scandinavian Mountains (also known as the Scandes), the steep range that forms the border between Norway and Sweden. The precipitous western slope drops into the Norwegian Sea, creating rugged, picturesque fjords. Most of Norway is montane, with only 10% of its land arable.
The eastern slope of the Scandes descends into greener land in Sweden, which, in the north, abounds with subarctic peatlands and lakes. The Gulf of Bothnia separates northern Sweden from southern Finland. In northern Finland the Scandes still carry a dusting of snow, but are no longer the steep, majestic peaks found further south.
In the far east (right) of the image, the greening land belongs to Russia. In the north, the Kola Peninsula is bordered by the Barents Sea (north) and the White Sea (south). This Peninsula, which is part of Murmansk Oblast, sits almost entirely within the Arctic Circle.