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The Canary Islands
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The Canary Islands

September 20, 2006

This MODIS Terra image, acquired on September 11, 2006, shows the Canary Islands. Actually belonging to Spain, the Canary Islands are a chain of volcanic islands located off the northwestern coast of Africa, near Morocco.

One might think of birds when one hears the name of the islands, but the name might be derived from the a Roman name for one of the islands "Insularia Canaria" or Island of the Dogs. This island was so named because it had a endemic population of large and fierce dogs. It is also possible the name comes from that of a north African tribe known as the Canarii.

The Teide volcano on Tenerife is the third largest volcano on Earth, and it is just about visible on the MODIS image. Tenerif is the 4th island from the left, right nearly in the middle of the chain. The red dot on the image represents an active fire.