Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features the peak of fall colors across the Adirondack Mountains in northeast New York. In many other parts of the United States, autumn foliage was much less brilliant this year as a result of dry conditions in the summer.
The photograph is focused on fall colors around Elizabethtown, New York, which is known as the “eastern gateway of the Adirondacks.”
According to NASA, much of the striking yellow foliage in the image is located west of Elizabethtown in the Hurricane Mountain Wilderness. This protected area is within Adirondack Park – a massive state park that includes six million acres.
“This relatively unbroken forested landscape puts on a reliable show of seasonal color. Deciduous trees with especially vivid hues include sugar and red maples, and quaking and bigtooth aspens. Eastern larches also put on a showy display, but on this conifer, it is the needles, not leaves, that turn brilliant golden yellow in autumn,” says NASA.
“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. When the green chlorophyll pigment fades, various yellow and red pigments become visible.”
The image was captured on October 8, 2022 by the Operational Land Imager-2 (OLI-2) on Landsat 9.
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory