Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features an astronaut photograph of the Cape Cod peninsula, located in the easternmost portion of Massachusetts. The peninsula extends into the Atlantic Ocean and is a significant feature of the East Coast of the United States.
Cape Cod peninsula is characterized by its beaches, villages, and seafood. It’s a popular tourist destination, particularly in the summer months, with people visiting for its beautiful landscapes and unique culture.
Cape Cod consists of 15 towns, including Provincetown, Hyannis, Falmouth, and Chatham. Each town has its own distinctive character and attractions. For example, Provincetown, located at the tip of the peninsula, is known for its vibrant LGBTQ+ scene, while Hyannis is famous as a ferry gateway to the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.
The Cape Cod National Seashore, a national park covering much of the Outer Cape, including the entire east-facing coast, provides opportunities for hiking, biking, and beachgoing.
Historically, Cape Cod was a landmark for early explorers of the Americas. It was among the first places settled by the English in North America in the Pilgrim Fathers’ era, and it played a key role in the early history and development of the United States.
Today, the Cape’s history is preserved in numerous museums, historic sites, and lighthouses. In addition, a variety of wildlife can be found in the region, such as whales, seals, and many species of birds.
“The variety of ecosystems within Cape Cod National Seashore sustain over 450 species of amphibians, reptiles, fish, birds, and mammals, including 32 species that are rare or endangered,” says NASA. “One of those species is the American oystercatcher, a large shorebird that uses a knife-like bill to eat shellfish.”
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory