Images of Earth from space meet fashion this week as Vogue magazine features the ‘Fragility and Beauty’ exhibition in Milan, Italy. Through several satellite images, the Italian online edition of Vogue highlights how the exhibition creates a link between scientific research, space technology and art, focusing on the theme of climate change and sustainable development.
This image of northern Serbia is just one of the many beautiful images from space included in the exhibition.
Originally featured on ESA’s Earth from Space video programme, this particular image was taken by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission on 28 August 2016. It is a false-colour image, and apart from being beautiful, the different colours indicate varying vegetative states. For example, yellowish patches indicate soil or freshly ploughed land, while shades of blue (primarily in the lower left) indicate either the same crop or different crops at a similar stage of growth.
The two Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellites each carry an instrument that has 13 spectral bands, designed to provide images that can be used to distinguish between different crop types as well as data on numerous plant features, such as active chlorophyll content and leaf water content, all of which are essential to accurately monitor plant growth.
This kind of information helps informed decisions to be made, whether they are about deciding how much water or fertiliser is needed for a maximum harvest or for forming strategies to address climate change.