Earth  ID: 4086

Fluorescence Visualizations in High-Resolution

During photosynthesis, plants emit fluorescence – a form of light invisible to the naked eye but detectable by satellites orbiting hundreds of miles above Earth. NASA scientists established a method to turn this satellite data into global maps of the subtle phenomenon in more detail than ever before.

The new maps, released in 2013, provide a 16-fold increase in spatial resolution and a 3-fold increase in temporal resolution over the first proof-of-concept maps released in 2011. This lets scientists use fluorescence to observe, for example, variation in the length of the growing season.

A visualization of the phenomenon shows global land plant fluorescence data collected from 2007 to 2011, combined to depict a single average year. Gray indicates regions with little or no fluorescence; red, pink and white indicate regions of high fluorescence.



Visualization Credits

Greg Shirah (NASA/GSFC): Lead Animator
Kayvon Sharghi (USRA): Producer
Joanna Joiner (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Kathryn Hansen (Wyle Information Systems): Writer
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

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Data Used:
MetOp/GOME-2/GOME-2 Solar Induced Fluorescence at 740 nm 2007 through 2011
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

NASA Science >> Earth
SVS >> Fluorescent Light