The Great Lakes, unfrozen

The NASA image above (click to zoom) shows the Great Lakes in Autumn 2011. The image is again from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite. Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are coloured light blue from sediment brought to the surface by winds, while Lake Erie is coloured green by a severe algal bloom. Autumn colours are also visible in some of the forests surrounding the lakes.

Given that it’s autumn here in Australia right now, the image seems vaguely appropriate.

The Great Lakes by night

The image above is cropped from a beautiful NASA image of North America by night, assembled from satellite photos taken by Suomi NPP during 2012. Population centres are clearly visible (click for image without labels). The great lakes themselves also stand out distinctly, even against the thinly populated regions.

The lakes of Titan

The lakes of Saturn’s moon Titan (seen in a synthetic-aperture radar montage above) are most likely composed of methane and ethane: two natural gases which boil at a chilly −161.5 °C and −89 °C respectively. Compared to that, Australian winter weather is warm!

Unlike the mountains of Titan, the lakes are named after lakes on Earth, while the larger maria are named after sea-monsters like the Punga and the Kraken. In reality, there are no sirens on these seas. Well, probably not.