The team uses some techniques to ensure that they’re capturing peak growth, which is May/June in the northern hemisphere and December/January in the southern. In addition, because the process favors darker pixels, the first output can seem very dim and underexposed, says Loyd.
“It’s a completely natural product,” says Loyd. “Every pixel is a real pixel captured by an camera in the sky. But it’s also completely synthetic.” The goal for the map is to capture roughly what the naked eye can see from space, but for an idealized cloudless planet trapped in eternal summer.