Last update: October 17th, 2019 at 9:00 am
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over southern Mexico on March 14, 2016, and acquired this true-color image of the region.
Mexico borders the United States in the north and Belize and Guatemala in the south. The long coastlines lie along the Pacific Ocean in the west and the Gulf of Mexico in the east. Covering about 1,964,275 sq km (748,410 sq mi), Mexico’s size is slightly less than the state of Texas.
The climate varies from tropical to desert, with vegetation ranging from rich and diverse jungles to the scant plants of the high, dry desert. Central Mexico, captured in the northern section of this image, features a volcanic plateau surrounded by mountains. The mountain chain roughly paralleling the coastline in the southwest are the Sierra Madre del Sur while the chain at the eastern edge of the southern Mexican Plateau are the Sierra Madre Occidental. Along the Gulf lies a broad, sometimes marshy plain. Known as the Gulf Coastal Plain, it extends about 1,450 km (900 mi) from the Texas border through the states of Veracruz and Tabasco all the way to the Yucatán Peninsula.