Last update: September 18th, 2019 at 6:00 pm
On April 28, 2016, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured a true-color image of a spring day across northwestern Russia.
Snow covers most of the northern landscape, which is typical for this time of year. Further south the early greening of spring vegetation and the year-round green of evergreen forests wear a more subtle dusting of snowy white.
The bright white, snow-capped peaks of the Ural Mountains can be seen along the eastern edge of the image, running generally north to south. The Urals mark the eastern edge of European Russia. To the west of the Urals the land flattens into the broad European Plain, which reaches to the Pyrenees Mountains on the border of France and Spain.
The bright blue waters of the Barents Sea (north) and White Sea (south) sit in the northwest corner of the image, separated by the broad Kola Peninsula. The more angular peninsula projecting into the Barents Sea is the Kanin Peninsula. The heavy white blanket of snow covers the undulating sand dunes which stretch tens of kilometers along the coast of the Kanin Peninsula. It has earned the title of the world’s northern-most desert.