The Many Hues of London—Three Unique Views from Space


Combining Landsat’s three visible bands produces a natural-color view that looks familiar to human eyes: The canopy of Epping Forest is green, the reservoirs near Heathrow Airport are dark blue, and the city itself is gray. Click on image to enlarge.

Landsat 7’s Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus instrument views Earth through eight different wavelengths or bands, creating the three different views you see here.

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Data from one of Landsat 7’s infrared bands (4) has been combined with the green (3) and blue (2) bands to create a 4-3-2 false-color view of London. This is a widely used combination that’s especially useful for vegetation studies. Click on image to enlarge.

This is another type of false-color image made from a combination of Landsat 7’s bands 7, 4 and 2 (two infrared plus green). Bright green spots indicate vegetation, and the waters appear dark blue or black. Urban areas appear as gray or pink, while cleared fields appear tan or purple. Click on image to enlarge.