Earth Imaging Journal: Remote Sensing, Satellite Images, Satellite Imagery
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The FLEX satellite will provide global maps of vegetation fluorescence, which can be converted into an indicator of photosynthetic activity. (Credit: ESA/ATG medialab)

The FLEX satellite will provide global maps of vegetation fluorescence, which can be converted into an indicator of photosynthetic activity. (Credit: ESA/ATG medialab)

The European Space Agency (ESA) plans to track the health of the world’s vegetation by detecting and measuring the faint glow that plants give off as they convert sunlight and the atmosphere’s carbon dioxide into energy. Following a rigorous selection process, the satellite will be ESA’s eighth Earth Explorer, planned for launch by 2022.

As well as yielding important information about plant health, the Fluorescence Explorer (FLEX) satellite will help understanding how carbon moves between plants and the atmosphere and how photosynthesis affects carbon and water cycles.

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