South Island, New Zealand

As the clouds broke over South Island, New Zealand, on July 11, 2003, clear skies revealed the blanket of snow that remained from what is being reported as the worst blizzard to hit the country in 50 years. The bright white snow contrasts sharply with the deep green vegetation of the coastal areas as well as with the bright blue, glacier-fed lakes scattered across the Southern Alps, which run diagonally across the island. The blizzard stranded hundreds of motorists and isolated more than 400 skiers at a mountain resort. In places, the storm brought ice and freezing rain, making roads especially treacherous and bringing down trees and power lines. This image was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra satellite.
Source: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Chatham Islands, east of New Zealand

Located 800 kilometers east of Christchurch, New Zealand, the Chatham Islands are the ancestral home of the Moriori people. The island group consists of ten small islands, though only the largest two, seen here, are populated. These islands, Chatham (top) and Pitt (bottom), have the distinction of being the first inhabited land to see the sun rise every day. This Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image of the islands was acquired by the Aqua satellite on April 19, 2004. The dark area on the top right and center of Chatham is the Te Whanga Lagoon.
Source: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

New Zealand

This true-color image captured by MODIS on June 5, 2001 shows the North Island and South Island of New Zealand. The two bodies of land are separated by the Cook Strait.
Source: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

New Zealand

This MODIS true-color image provides a relatively cloud-free view of New Zealand. Running along the western coast of South Island are the Southern Alps. The North Island is home to several active volcanoes, and New Zealands largest lake, Lake Taupo, (partially hidden by clouds) in the center of the North Island, is a crater lake formed from a volcano that last erupted in 186 A.D.
Source: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Stereo Pair: Wellington, New Zealand

Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand, is located on the shores of Port Nicholson, a natural harbor at the south end of North Island. The city was founded in 1840 by British emigrants and now has a regional population of more than 400,000 residents. As seen here, the natural terrain imposes strong control over the urban growth pattern (urban features generally appear gray or white in this view). Rugged hills generally rising to 300 meters (~1,000 feet) help protect the city and harbor from strong winter winds New Zealand is seismically active and faults are readily seen in the topography. The Wellington Fault forms the straight northwestern (left) shoreline of the harbor. Toward the southwest (down) the fault crosses through the city, then forms linear canyons in the hills before continuing offshore at the bottom. Toward the northeast (upper right) the fault forms the sharp mountain front along the northern edge of the heavily populated Hutt Valley. This stereoscopic image pair was generated using topographic data from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, combined with an enhanced true color Landsat 7 satellite image. The topography data are used to create two differing perspectives of a single image, one perspective for each eye. In doing so, each point in the image is shifted slightly, depending on its elevation. When stereoscopically merged, the result is a vertically exaggerated view of the Earths surface in its full three dimensions. Landsat satellites have provided visible light and infrared images of the Earth continuously since 1972. SRTM topographic data match the 30 meter (99 foot) spatial resolution of most Landsat images and will provide a valuable complement for studying the historic and growing Landsat data archive. The Landsat 7 Thematic Mapper image used here was provided to the SRTM project by the United States Geological Survey, Earth Resources Observation Systems (EROS) Data Center, Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Elevation data used in this image was acquired by the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour, launched on February 11, 2000. SRTM used the same radar instrument that comprised the Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C/X-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SIR-C/X-SAR) that flew twice on the Space Shuttle Endeavour in 1994. SRTM was designed to collect three-dimensional measurements of the Earths surface. To collect the 3-D data, engineers added a 60-meter-long (200-foot) mast, installed additional C-band and X-band antennas, and improved tracking and navigation devices. The mission is a cooperative project between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), and the German and Italian space agencies. It is managed by NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, for NASAs Earth Science Enterprise, Washington, DC. Size: 48 by 27 kilometers (30 by 17 miles) Location: 41.3 deg. South lat., 174.9 deg. East lon. Orientation: North toward the upper left Image Data: Landsat bands 1,2 and 3 shown in blue, green and red Original Data Resolution: SRTM and Landsat, 30 meters (99 feet) Date Acquired: February 20, 2000 (SRTM); September 29, 1999 (Landsat)
Source: National Aeronautics and Space Administration - NASA/JPL/NIMA

Perspective View with Landsat Overlaid Owahanga, New Zealand

This 3-D perspective view looks south along the southeast coast of the North Island of New Zealand. The capital city of Wellington is off the right side of the image. The river in the foreground reaches the coast at the town of Owahanga. The point protruding east (left) in the middle of the image is Castlepoint. The dark green areas are thick pine forests. The Wairarapa valley is in the far distance at the right hand side. This image shows how elevation data collected by the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) can be used to enhance other satellite images. In this case color and natural shading were provided by images collected by the Landsat 4 Thematic Mapper in 1989. The terrain perspective was derived from SRTM elevation data acquired in February. Topography is not vertically exaggerated. Elevation data used in this image was acquired by the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour, launched on February 11, 2000. SRTM used the same radar instrument that comprised the Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C/X-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SIR-C/X-SAR) that flew twice on the Space Shuttle Endeavour in 1994. SRTM was designed to collect three-dimensional measurements of the Earths surface. To collect the 3-D data, engineers added a 60-meter-long (200-foot) mast, installed additional C-band and X-band antennas, and improved tracking and navigation devices. The mission is a cooperative project between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), and the German and Italian space agencies. It is managed by NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, for NASAs Earth Science Enterprise, Washington, DC. The University of Oxford Department of Earth Sciences provided the Landsat data. Size: scale varies in this perspective Center location: 40.9 deg. south lat., 170.3 deg. east lon. Orientation: view looking south Original data resolution: 30 meters (99 feet) Date acquired: SRTM: February 20, 2000; Landsat: June 13, 1989.
Source: National Aeronautics and Space Administration - NASA/JPL/NIMA

Shaded relief with Color as Height, Wellington, New Zealand

The topography of New Zealands North Island is rich in seismic features: The sharp line cutting through the city of Wellington (on the left side of the large bay on the bottom coast) is the active Wellington Fault, which also goes through the official residence of the Prime Minister of New Zealand. Another active fault, the Wairarapa Fault, cuts along the west side of the Wairarapa Valley (center of the image). This fault was the site of an earthquake in 1855 that may have involved as much as 12 meters (40 feet) of fault slip. There are several marine terraces along the south coast that were uplifted in 1855 and previous earthquakes. Between the Wairarapa Valley and Wellington is the Rimutaka Range, which reaches 800 meters (2,600 feet), and to the north (top center of the image) is the Tararua Range, with a peak at 1,500 meters (4,900 feet). At the right side of the image is the Aorangi Range, up to 1,000 meters (3,300 feet) high. At the bottom of the image is the Cook Strait, between the North and South Islands of New Zealand. The Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM), launched on February 11, 2000, used the same radar instrument that comprised the Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C/X-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SIR-C/X-SAR) that flew twice on the Space Shuttle Endeavour in 1994. SRTM was designed to collect three-dimensional measurements of the Earths surface on its 11-day mission. To collect the 3-D data, engineers added a 60-meter-long (200-foot) mast, an additional C-band imaging antenna, and improved tracking and navigation devices. The mission is a cooperative project between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) and the German (DLR) and Italian (ASI) space agencies. It is managed by NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, for NASAs Earth Science Enterprise, Washington, DC. Size: 89 kilometers (55 miles) x 82 kilometers (51 miles) Location: 41.2 degrees south latitude, 175.2 degrees east longitude Site name: Wellington, New Zealand Orientation: north is towards the upper left corner Original data resolution: SRTM, 30 meters (99 feet) Date acquired: February 20, 2000
Source: National Aeronautics and Space Administration - NASA/JPL/NIMA

New Zealand

This stunning true-color image provides a rare, cloud-free look at the island nation of New Zealand, including most of its North and South Islands. This scene was acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), flying aboard NASAs Terra satellite, on October 23, 2002. New Zealand is situated in the South Pacific Ocean, roughly 2,000 km (1,250 miles) southeast of Australia. Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, is located on the southern tip of the North Island, looking across Cook Strait toward South Island. The New Zealand land mass is ancient. Geologists estimate that it separated from the ancient supercontinent of Gondwana around 80 million years ago as a single land mass, which geologists call Rangitata. Around 5 million years ago, NewZealands North and South Islands began to take the shape they have today. Rainforest covered most of New Zealands land area as recently as seven thousand years ago. Isolated from the rest of the world by vast expanses of ocean, New Zealand was a haven for unique species of flora and fauna, including many species of flightless birds that evolved in safety at ground level through the millennia. Perhaps the most well-known of these flightless birds today is the Kiwi, which adapted to a forest environment, feeding mainly upon earthworms and larvae. Humans first settled on New Zealand somewhere between 950 and 1130 AD. The first settlers were Polynesians who, well known for their navigation skill, probably made the voyage in twin-hulled or outrigger canoes. These first Polynesian settlers called their new home “Aotearoa,” which means “land of the long white cloud.” The first Europeans believed to have visited New Zealand were led by Abel Janszoon Tasman from the Netherlands. In 1633, Tasman was hired by the Dutch East India Company to sail the trading routes between Europe and Batavia (what is today known as Jakarta, Indonesia). In 1642, on a 10-year contract with the Company, Tasman was instructed to find the elusive and wealthy Southern Continent that supposedly stretched across the Pacific. Tasman set sail on Aug. 13, 1642, in command of two ships — the Zeehaen and the Heemskerck. Four months later, Tasman and his crew spotted the coast of a new land that Tasman described as “a large land, uplifted high.” He named it “Staten Landt,” in reference to the Land of the Dutch States-General. Although there are no clear records of precisely how New Zealand got its modern name, its first usage is attributed to Dutch Captain Willem Jansz. In 1620, Jansz sailed his ship, the Duyfken , southeastward in search of gold and riches. During his voyage, Jansz observed an island off the coast of New Guinea, which he named “Nieu Zelandt.” Subsequently, many maps recorded the name “Nieu Zelandt” as recently as the late 1700s. Other maps appearing as early as 1645 carried the name “Zeelandia Nova” (meaning “new sea land”). Some historians suggest the land was named after the one of the Dutch provinces, Zeelandt, which was separated from the province of Holland by the sea (thus “Sea-land”). Australia was given the name Hollandia Nova (New Holland) and so Zeelandia Nova (New Zeeland), separated by an expanse of ocean, makes sense. Other historians suggest that Zeeland was the name of the second most important chamber of the Dutch East India Company. Thus, they suggest the island was named after this chamber. For more details about New Zealands fascinating history, visit the New Zealand in History Web site.
Source: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

New Zealand

These stunning true-color images provide a rare, cloud-free look at the island nation of New Zealand, including most of its North and South Islands. This scene was acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), flying aboard NASAs Terra satellite, on October 23, and December 31, 2002. New Zealand is situated in the South Pacific Ocean, roughly 2,000 km (1,250 miles) southeast of Australia. Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, is located on the southern tip of the North Island, looking across Cook Strait toward South Island. The New Zealand land mass is ancient. Geologists estimate that it separated from the ancient supercontinent of Gondwana around 80 million years ago as a single land mass, which geologists call Rangitata. Around 5 million years ago, NewZealands North and South Islands began to take the shape they have today. Rainforest covered most of New Zealands land area as recently as seven thousand years ago. Isolated from the rest of the world by vast expanses of ocean, New Zealand was a haven for unique species of flora and fauna, including many species of flightless birds that evolved in safety at ground level through the millennia. Perhaps the most well-known of these flightless birds today is the Kiwi, which adapted to a forest environment, feeding mainly upon earthworms and larvae. Humans first settled on New Zealand somewhere between 950 and 1130 AD. The first settlers were Polynesians who, well known for their navigation skill, probably made the voyage in twin-hulled or outrigger canoes. These first Polynesian settlers called their new home “Aotearoa,” which means “land of the long white cloud.” The first Europeans believed to have visited New Zealand were led by Abel Janszoon Tasman from the Netherlands. In 1633, Tasman was hired by the Dutch East India Company to sail the trading routes between Europe and Batavia (what is today known as Jakarta, Indonesia). In 1642, on a 10-year contract with the Company, Tasman was instructed to find the elusive and wealthy Southern Continent that supposedly stretched across the Pacific. Tasman set sail on Aug. 13, 1642, in command of two ships — the Zeehaen and the Heemskerck. Four months later, Tasman and his crew spotted the coast of a new land that Tasman described as “a large land, uplifted high.” He named it “Staten Landt,” in reference to the Land of the Dutch States-General. Although there are no clear records of precisely how New Zealand got its modern name, its first usage is attributed to Dutch Captain Willem Jansz. In 1620, Jansz sailed his ship, the Duyfken , southeastward in search of gold and riches. During his voyage, Jansz observed an island off the coast of New Guinea, which he named “Nieu Zelandt.” Subsequently, many maps recorded the name “Nieu Zelandt” as recently as the late 1700s. Other maps appearing as early as 1645 carried the name “Zeelandia Nova” (meaning “new sea land”). Some historians suggest the land was named after the one of the Dutch provinces, Zeelandt, which was separated from the province of Holland by the sea (thus “Sea-land”). Australia was given the name Hollandia Nova (New Holland) and so Zeelandia Nova (New Zeeland), separated by an expanse of ocean, makes sense. Other historians suggest that Zeeland was the name of the second most important chamber of the Dutch East India Company. Thus, they suggest the island was named after this chamber. For more details about New Zealands fascinating history, visit the New Zealand in History Web site.
Source: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

New Zealand

This stunning true-color image provides a rare, cloud-free look at the island nation of New Zealand, including all of North and part of South Island. This scene was acquired by the Aqua MODIS instrument on December 27, 2004. New Zealand is situated in the South Pacific Ocean, roughly 2,000 km (1,250 miles) southeast of Australia. Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, is located on the southern tip of the North Island, looking across Cook Strait toward South Island. Surrounding the islands like a silver halo is a swath of sunglint, while north of the Bay of Plenty in the Pacific Ocean is a blue cloud of phytoplankton. The New Zealand land mass is ancient. Geologists estimate that it separated from the ancient supercontinent of Gondwana around 80 million years ago as a single land mass, which geologists call Rangitata. Around 5 million years ago, NewZealands North and South Islands began to take the shape they have today. Rainforest covered most of New Zealands land area as recently as seven thousand years ago. Isolated from the rest of the world by vast expanses of ocean, New Zealand was a haven for unique species of flora and fauna, including many species of flightless birds that evolved in safety at ground level through the millennia. Perhaps the most well-known of these flightless birds today is the Kiwi, which adapted to a forest environment, feeding mainly upon earthworms and larvae.
Source: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC