GOES 9 Weather satellite - 22,000 miles over the equator and eastern Pacific Ocean. January 4, 1997 21:00 UTC (caption below)

Another colorful mix of infrared images taken at different wavelengths and added together. The blue component shows infrared light reflected from the surface of the earth. Green is mostly from middle level clouds. The darker each color, the warmer. Red is the infrared emission from water vapor in the atmosphere. The white areas represent the highest, coldest clouds in the atmosphere - along weather fronts, and the tops of thunderstorms in the tropics.

The relatively warm land areas of Mexico and the Baja peninsula (compared to the cooler ocean waters) make them stand out quite sharply in the upper right portion of the image.

The blackness of space in the background is also false - it would appear bright white in these infrared images where light colors indicate cold. Artistic license, I guess. (Original images courtesy NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center)
 

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