Planet-mapping satellite captures the Yucatán Peninsula in all its glory

The Proba-V minisatellite captured this gorgeous image of the Yucatán Peninsula in July. Photo: ESA
The Proba-V minisatellite captured this gorgeous image of the Yucatán Peninsula in July. Photo: ESA

The satellite image of the day is a lush view of the Yucatán Peninsula, scanned by the European Space Agency’s Proba-V minisatellite

Launched in 2013, the Proba-V monitors the Earth, covering the entire planet every two days, tracking the health of its vegetation.

The Proba-V is the size of a washing machine, and it looks a little like one too. But it has a huge, 1,400-mile-wide field of view – enough to cover most continents in a single shot. To get the best information about Earth’s flora, the satellite’s Vegetation instrument detects light in the blue, red, near-infrared and mid-infrared wavebands. The instrument has a 1,150-foot resolution.

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Accounting for cloud cover, the satellite collects enough data for a nearly cloud-free global map every 10 days.

In addition to keeping track of vegetation growth, the little satellite’s data makes beautiful images.

VITO Remote Sensing in Belgium processes and then distributes Proba-V data to users worldwide. An online image gallery highlights some of the mission’s most striking images so far, including views of storms, fires and deforestation.

The image of the Yucatán was captured in July, but shared Wednesday on various websites. Download a larger version of the image here.

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