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three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), white, and red; Mexico's coat of arms (an eagle with a snake in its beak perched on a cactus) is centered in the white band; green signifies hope, joy, and love; white represents peace and honesty; red stands for hardiness, bravery, strength, and valor; the coat of arms is derived from a legend that the wandering Aztec people were to settle at a location where they would see an eagle on a cactus eating a snake; the city they founded, Tenochtitlan, is now Mexico City Satellite radar topography image of a portion of Central America.
Due to persistent cloud cover, obtaining conventional high-altitude photos of this region is extrordinarily difficult.
Among hundreds of volcanic vents and cinder cones are rare maar craters, formed when rising magma met underground water to create pockets of steam that blew nearly circular holes in the overlying crust.
American astronauts used this area in 1965-70 to train for lunar excursions; surrounding the region are the vast sand dune fields of Gran Desierto de Altar. This high-resolution satellite image shows part of the Sierra Madre Oriental mountain range, on the border between the Coahuila and Nuevo Leon provinces of eastern Mexico.
For other active volcanoes in Mexico, see the Natural hazards-volcanism subfield in the Geography section. The pockmarked terrain of Pinacate National Park in Sonora province, shown in this enhanced satellite image, provides evidence of a violent geologic past.Part of the trans-Mexican volcanic belt, Colima is actually a melding of two volcanoes, the older Nevado de Colima to the north and the younger, historically active Volcan de Colima to the south.Approximately 300,000 people live within 40 km (25 mi) of the volcano earning it designation as a Decade Volcano by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior.This mountain range is drier than the rainforest areas to the south. The snow and ice-clad peak of Pico de Orizaba (also known as Citlaltepetl) boasts a summit elevation of 5,675 m (18,619 ft) above sea level, making it the highest peak in Mexico and North America's highest volcano.It is also one of three volcanic peaks in Mexico - together with Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl - that retain summit glaciers.