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The Big Island of Hawaii
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The Big Island of Hawaii

November 24, 2003
Boasting snow-covered mountain peaks and tropical forest, the Island of Hawaii, the largest of the Hawaiian Islands, is stunning at any altitude. This false-color composite (processed to simulate true color) image of Hawaii was constructed from data gathered between 1999 and 2001 by the Enhanced Thematic Mapper plus (ETM+) instrument, flying aboard the Landsat 7 satellite. The black areas on the island (in this scene) that resemble a pair of sun-baked palm fronds are hardened lava flows formed by the active Mauna Loa Volcano. Just to the north of Mauna Loa is the dormant grayish Mauna Kea Volcano, which hasn’t erupted in an estimated 3,500 years. A thin greyish plume of smoke is visible near the island’s southeastern shore, rising from Kilauea —- the most active volcano on Earth. Heavy rainfall and fertile volcanic soil have given rise to Hawaii’s lush tropical forests, which appear as solid dark green areas in the image. The light green, patchy areas near the coasts are likely


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