Feb 25, 2010
Source: Cool Earth
The first images from a European Space Agency project have shown the Amazon rainforest in Brazil from above.
The agency's Water Mission project is aimed at gathering information on the variations in soil moisture which can been seen around the world and, in turn, help scientists understand global water cycles.
In order to get the information, scientists frequently look at soil moisture on land and the salinity of the seas.
Images of the globe are taken by the MIRAS machine and help researchers see how much water is contained in soils - if an image comes out with a high brightness, it shows the area is dry, with low brightness representing areas of soil with a lot of moisture.
The Amazon rainforest was used as a test area for the technology as its river allows scientists to easily pick up on the difference between wet and dry areas.
The Amazon river is the longest on earth and at times of wet weather, can grow to up to 120 miles wide.