This article in the Moscow Times shows how imagery satellites can help see differences more easily. I’m sure if you’re a farmer on the ground over there, you’d be very aware without the satellites already. I think the picture tells the story, and you can go read the article to see what it’s about.
The images were taken with NASA’s Earth Observatory team from their Aqua satellite. The payload that took the image was the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) which, according to their specs, has the ability to take pictures in 36 different spectral bands.
Aqua is a “near-polar” low earth orbiting satellite. It has five other payloads (instruments, in NASA’s parlance) on it. The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS), the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU-A), the Humidity Sounder for Brazil (HSB), the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for EOS (AMSR-E), and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) payloads.
In case you didn’t notice, the government does like piling on the payloads and acronyms. But, just like with MODIS, occasionally there’s paydirt from the analysis.