Sentinel-2A takes us over central-eastern Brazil – more specifically where the Bahia, Tocantins and Goiás states meet.
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Here we can see a large, flat plateau blanked with fields benefiting from rich soils and an apparent abundance of water, before falling off into a green, hilly valley (left). The straight lines in the image are roads, such as the highway running in a nearly straight line from the centre-top to bottom of the image.
The area is particularly known for soybean production. The country’s soybean output has increased by more than 3000% since the 1970s, and Brazil is the second largest global producer of soybeans after the US.
Other crops in this area include corn, coffee and cotton.
A distinctive feature in this image is the circles – mainly at the centre. These shapes were created by a central-pivot irrigation system, where a long water pipe rotates around a well at the centre of each plot. The varying colours show different types of crop, or different stages of growth.
The two-satellite Sentinel-2 mission is designed to monitor changing lands, including crop type and health. While the first satellite has been in orbit since 2015, its Sentinel-2B twin was launched on 7 March. Together, the satellites will provide new images of Earth’s land surfaces every five days.
This image, also featured on the Earth from Space video programme, was captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2A satellite on 8 August 2016.
Credit: contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2016), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO