Date: Fri, 07.05.21 13:00
MODIS Pic of the Day 07 May 2021
Sitting along the southern border of the United States and just north
of Mexico, the state of Texas stretches across 268,820 square miles
(696,241 square kilometers), capturing the title of the second-largest
state in the country, following only Alaska. If Texas were a country,
it would rank as the 40th-largest in the world, coming in slightly
smaller than Morocco and just larger than Burma (Myanmar). In terms of
population, Texas—with approximately 29.7 million inhabitants in
2021—comes in as the second most-populous state in the USA, falling
behind only California (39.7 million inhabitants). If compared to
countries, the population of Texas would bring it to 49th place,
following Yemen (29.8 million) and leading Nepal (29.1 million).
Despite the popular Texan brag proclaiming “Everything is bigger in
Texas”, Texas isn’t bigger than EVERYTHING. It is, however, much bigger
than most things, including most states, many countries and, as any
resident might quietly point out, it retains claiming rights to “big
hats, big hair, and big attitudes”.
On May 5, 2021, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer
(MODIS) on board NASA’s Terra satellite acquired a true-color image
that captures most of the landscape of the expansive state of Texas.
A white line has been added to the image to illustrate the border
between Texas, USA, and Mexico. Gray lines mark borders between Texas
and two adjacent states—Arizona to the west and Oklahoma to the north.
In the southeast, Texas borders the Gulf of Mexico. Long, narrow
barrier islands line the Texas coast, forming protective bays between
the Gulf and the mainland.
Cement-colored pixels mark cities and human construction. Along the
coast, Houston dominates as the largest city, sprawling across the
greenness of pine forests and swamps that dominate the coastal
landscape of the state. Northwest of Houston, a large area of gray
pixels marks the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.
Moving west and northwest of Houston, the cities of San Antonio and
Austin are tucked near the feet of a steep rise called the Balcones
Escarpment. This geological fault zone, stretching across several
miles, creates balcony-like hills that rise sharply above the coastal
plain. The Balcones form the southern and eastern edge of the Edwards
Plateau. This area marks changes in topography, geology, ecology, and
climate from flat and humid coastal wetlands to rocky hills with
woodlands (dark green in the image). The area is known regionally as
the Texas Hill Country.
The Interior Lowlands (also called the North Central Plains) cover the
northeastern part of Texas, including Dallas-Fort Worth. This region
features rolling grasslands and limestone and has a lower humidity than
most of the rest of the state. The Great Plains sit on the west of the
North-Central Plain, covering most of the Texas Panhandle, and stretch
westward to the Basin and Range region. Flat and generally free of
vegetation, the Basin and Range region is arid, with hot summers and
Date Acquired: 5/5/2021
Resolutions: 1km (142.2 KB), 500m (530.6 KB), 250m (1.8 MB)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC
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