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Canary Islands | by NASA Goddard Photo and Video
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Canary Islands

NASA image acquired December 21, 2011


The rugged landscape of the Canary Islands stood out in sharp contrast to the smooth blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the flat tan land of northwestern Africa on December 21, 2011, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Terra satellite captured this true-color image.


The Canary Islands are a group of seven large islands and several smaller islets, all volcanic in origin. The eastern edge of the chain lies only 100 kilometers from the coasts of Morocco and Western Sahara, and the chain stretches for about 500 kilometers across the Atlantic. All the islands are mountainous, and Tenerife, the central island in this image is home to Pico de Teinde, the highest peak, which rises 12,198 feet (3,718 meters) above sea level.


From east to west, the islands are named Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Tenerife, La Gomera, La Palmera and El Hierro. A bright swirl of peacock blue marks the ocean south of El Hierro, a stain on the sea from an ongoing eruption of a volcano under the waters.


Credit: NASA/GSFC/Jeff Schmaltz/MODIS Land Rapid Response Team


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NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission.


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Uploaded on January 3, 2012