Earth's gone green in recently released satellite images showing our planet's vegetation (pictured here, the entire planet).
Using the NASA/NOAA Suomi NPP satellite, scientists can now detect subtle differences in greenness on the 25 percent of Earth that's made up of land. (See National Geographic pictures of life in green.)
The images—taken between April 2012 and 2013—show the darkest green areas as the lushest, while the pale colors signify sparse vegetation cover due to snow, drought, rock, or urban areas, according to the U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration.
Mapping vegetation has some practical uses, including forecasting weather or understanding how to best use agricultural land.