Our Earth at Night from Space

NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration(NOAA) for the first time in history, have created photo-stitch of our planet Earth, as seen from space at night. They have titled it “Black Marble.”

The night side of Earth twinkles with light and the first thing to stand out is the cities. “Nothing tells us more about the spread of humans across the Earth than city lights,” asserts Chris Elvidge, a NOAA scientist. This is so true. Notice in the video how large part of Africa and South America are still dark.

The night time photographs were taken from April to October by the Suomi NPP satellite. It is equipped with light-sensitive cameras that are capable of capturing every little flicker. Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), can register city lights, auroras, wildfires, and even reflected moonlight. This low-light sensor can distinguish night lights with ten to hundreds of times better light detection capability than scientists had before.

(Image Courtesy: nasa.gov)



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