On July 9, 2002, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured these images from the land around the Caspian Sea. The two images are actually part of the same data granule (equivalent to about five minutes of data collection) that has been split into a northern and southern image. The common element to the two images is the Volga River, which is drawn on heavily for agriculture. The Volga runs generally north-south through the center of the images and empties into the Caspian Sea via a broad, fertile delta.
In the northern most image, roughly the bottom right quadrant of the image is occupied by Kazakhstan, with the remainder occupied by western Russia. In the southern image, the Caucasus Mountains are at bottom center, and a portion of the Black Sea can be seen at lower left. Scattered throughout both images are numerous fires detected by MODIS and marked with red dots. In the false-color images, vegetation is bright green, and burned areas stand out in reddish brown.