Mystery Photo

What in the world is it?

Mystery Photo

Don’t peek at the answer until you’ve given this a good try! Then, scroll down a bit and the truth will be revealed to you.

Image Credit: NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan

A closeup of a computer chip? Plastic art? Well, this is a satellite image of real crop circles — those farmed in the prairie in southwestern Kansas. The most common crops in this region—Finney County—are corn, wheat, and sorghum. Each of these crops was at a different point of development when the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) captured this image on June 24, 2001, accounting for the varying shades of green and yellow. Healthy, growing crops are green. Corn would be growing into leafy stalks by late June. Sorghum, which resembles corn, grows more slowly and would be much smaller and therefore, possibly paler. Wheat is a brilliant gold as harvest occurs in June.