Bright fall colors on the banks of the Amur River • Earth.com

Bright fall colors on the banks of the Amur River

Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features bright autumn colors along the banks of the Amur River, which forms the border between the Russian Far East and Northeastern China (Manchuria).

“Fall color reaches its “peak” when air temperatures drop and shortened daylight triggers plants to slow and stop the production of chlorophyll – the molecule that plants use to synthesize food,” explained NASA. 

“Without chlorophyll, the green pigment fades and various yellow and red pigments become visible. Northernmost latitudes see these changes first, with fall color appearing as early as September. Areas farther south can see peak color as late as mid-November.”

The Amur is the world’s tenth longest river, flowing about 1,755 miles from its origins to its mouth in the Strait of Tartary, which connects to the Sea of Okhotsk. The river is known in China as the Heilong Jiang, which means “Black Dragon River.”

The Amur River basin is home to a variety of wildlife, including the Amur leopard and the Amur tiger, which are among the rarest large cats in the world. The river’s ecology supports a rich biodiversity, although it faces environmental threats such as pollution, overfishing, and the impact of dams on water flow and aquatic life.

The image was captured on September 30, 2019 by the Operational Land Imager on Landsat 8.

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory 

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