On July 18, 2013 the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Aqua flew over southeastern South American and captured this true color image of wintertime in this region.
Black borderlines have been overlain on the image to delineate country boundaries. The country in the southwest of the image, with tan lands, is Argentina. North and east of Argentina, Uruguay lies on the coast of the South Atlantic Ocean. Brazil lies to the northeast, and Paraguay is the landlocked country in the center of the image.
Dozens of red hotspots, marking active fires, speckle northern Paraguay. Others are found throughout the region, particularly in northern Argentina and along the rivers. At this time of year, and with this distribution, these fires are most likely agricultural in origin.
A large indentation in the coast marks the Rio de la Plata. This funnel shaped estuary widens from about 1.2 miles (2 km) inland to about 140 mi (220 km) at its mouth, and is about 180 mi (290 km) long. Part of the border between Uruguay and Argentina, the shores of the Rio de la Plata are the most densely populated regions in each country. The large gray smudge on the southern shore is Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina and the largest city in that country, with a population in the metropolitan area of over 12 million, according to the 2010 census. Across the river, the smaller gray smudge marks Montevideo, the capital and largest city of Uruguay. In 2009, over 1.6 million people call Montevideo home.
The two major tributaries to the Rio de la Plata are the Uruguay River and the Paraná River . The Uruguay River forms the border between Uruguay and Argentina north of the Rio de la Plata. The Paraná River courses primarily through Argentina. In this image, a few red hotspots appear on the green land along the Paraná River.