The Fields of Italy Aren't Really This Red

By Jamie Condliffe on at

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the Italians had decided to grow nothing but poppies and tomatoes from this picture — but in fact you’re looking at an image from Sentinel-2A, where healthy vegetation shows up as red rather than green.

The image, taken above Avezzano in Italy, was captured using a multispectral camera aboard Sentinel-2A. The device shows regions that contain large quantities of chlorophyll — the substance involved in photosynthesis — as bright red. So the vivid scarlet hues in this image in fact show that the fields in this region are lush and verdant. In contrast, the dull green-grey regions are urban and industrial areas around the large plain of farmland.