On March 24, 2003, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite captured this image of scattered fires (red dots) in northeastern Europe. Fires are most heavily concentrated in the Russian Federation (north of center) between Lithuania (north) and Poland (south). TGermanic languages are widely spoken in most of Northwestern Europe, although other languages are also present, including Romance languages in Northern France, Wallonia and Luxembourg, and Celtic languages along the western fringes of the British Isles and in Brittany.
The region also has a history of Protestantism (Lutheranism, Calvinism and Anglicanism) that differentiates it from its Mediterranean / Southern European / Latin and Eastern European / Slavic neighbors. The definition of Northwestern Europe as correlating with Protestant Germanic Europe leads to somewhat the same definition as the geographical one above, but would tend to exclude northern France, Wallonia, Southern Netherlands, Catholic Belgium, southern Germany, Austria, and Ireland.
This is because France and Wallonia, despite their historical Huguenot populations, are considered Catholic Romance language countries, while Belgium, Southern Germany, Austria and Ireland, though largely containing Germanic language speakers, are historically Catholic. Measured by the attribute of Protestantism and Germanic culture, Northwestern Europe would therefore be equivalent to the area known as Northern Europe combined with the Low Countries, much of Switzerland and Northern Germany, and minus the Baltic regions, Belgium and Irelando the southeast, there are fires in Belarus (top) and Ukraine (bottom). At top left is the Baltic Sea.