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The Yucatan Peninsula
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The Yucatan Peninsula

April 1, 2008

The MODIS on the Terra satellite captured this relatively clear view of the Yucatan Peninsula on March 15, 2008. This image has blue lines on it, which show the borders of the different regions contained within the peninsula. In the northern half of the peninsula are the Mexian states of (right to left) Quintanta Roo, Yucatan, and Campeche. Further west of the peninsula is the Mexican state of Chiapas. The southern part of the peninsula contains Belize (on the eastern coast) and parts of Guatemala (center). There are several active fires visible in this image. They are marked with red dots.

The city of Merida, Mexico is quite visible as a tan patch surrounded by green, near the northwestern corner of the peninsula. This city is also located near the center of the Chicxulub Crater, which was formed from an impact (of something like a comet or asteroid) sometime around the end of the Cretaceous Period, approximately 65 million years ago. The impact is thought to have contributed to the extinction of the dinosaurs. Whether it was the sole reason, or whether this crater was just one of several impacts are some of the issues being discussed by scientists.



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