Last month we posted an article detailing the launch of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) latest Copernicus mission satellite, Sentinel-3A, which occurred on 16 February 2016.
Just two months into its operation and Sentinel-3A is providing us with impressive data already, imaging the River Nile and Delta in a vibrant red colour. This is unusual, but appears this way because of the imaging techniques used by the on-board satellite sensors. The red colour actually shows the presence of vegetation around the River Nile, which is typically an extremely fertile region providing agricultural crops to the millions of people who live near its banks. Using a combination of its on-board sensors allows these interesting images to be formed.
Its ability to depict vegetation in this way is fundamental for understanding the current and changing state of global biomes and ecosystems. Its suite of sophisticated instruments are also able to monitor other land surface properties, and even the state of the ice and atmosphere and will be critical to researchers over the next decade.
The image also captures Cyprus in the north, the Red Sea to the east and the desert surrounding Egypt, proving that satellite imagery can also form just a nice picture which is visually appealing!
This is not the only image which has been returned from Sentinel-3A which looks impressive. Last month, images from the Hudson River and the Great Lakes were also obtained and look stunning. It is promising to see such high quality images being released from this newly launched satellite, as quite often the captured images can have quality issues this early on into its operation.
For more information on the status of Sentinel-3A as well as the latest updates on its released imagery, please visit: ESA.