Taken by Nasa's Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry, And Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft, it shows fertile areas from South America and portions of North America and Africa.

NASA altered the colours in this image to reflect plant growth as healthy plants reflect more infra-red light - indicating a dense and growing foliage that looks red.

The wide-angle MESSENGER camera recorded light at 11 different wavelengths, including visible and infrared light. Infra-red light passes through the atmosphere with relatively little scattering and allows a clearer view.

Apart from getting a clearer image, the substitution reveals more information than natural colour, said a NASA press release.


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