The Operational Land Imager-2 on Landsat 9 acquired this vibrant image of deciduous trees and conifers in the Adirondack Mountains in northeast New York on Oct. 8, 2022. Adirondack Park, the largest state park in the contiguous United States, puts on a reliable show of seasonal color. Deciduous trees with especially vivid hues include sugar and red maples, as well as quaking and bigtooth aspens. Eastern larches also put on a showy display, but on this conifer, it is the needles, not leaves, that turn brilliant golden yellow in autumn.
Fall color reaches its peak when air temperatures drop and shortened daylight triggers plants to slow and stop the production of chlorophyll”the molecule that plants use to synthesize food. When the green chlorophyll pigment fades, various yellow and red pigments become visible.
Image Credit: NASA/Joshua Stevens/USGS