The Danube River was one of many rivers that overflowed in early April 2006 after being inundated with heavy rain and melting snow. Floods on rivers throughout Central Europe have forced hundreds of people from their homes, reported the Associated Press. Large tracts of land along the Danube in Hungary and Croatia were flooded when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured the first image-- the one that appears when you first open this page-- on April 3, 2006. The second image – the one that displays when you place your mouse over the first image-- was acquired by Aqua MODIS ten days earlier, and is provided to show the river under normal conditions. In the images, water is dark blue or black, clouds are pale blue and white, vegetation is green, and bare earth is tan and pink. In this image, longer wavelength sunlight (short-wave infrared or MODIS band 7) is assigned to the color red, the near infrared (MODIS band 2) is assigned to the color green; vegetation is highly reflective of near infrared light and thus appears very bright green. The red portion of the spectrum (MODIS band 1) is assigned the color blue; together, this combination of bands is called a “7, 2, 1” false color composite.
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