NASA RELEASED PHOTOGRAPHS THIS WEEK THAT IT SAYS PROVIDE AN ”unprecedented new look at our planet at night.”
The set of 24 images uploaded to Flickr were constructed “using cloud-free night images from a new NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellite,” and show “the glow of natural and human-built phenomena across the planet in greater detail than ever before.”
A sensor on the satellite is so sensitive that it ca detect light from a “single ship in the sea.”
“Nothing tells us more about the spread of humans across the Earth than city lights,” reflects NOAA Scientist Chris Elvidge.
Above, an image of the United States acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite in April and October of this year. Note how the most electrified areas are located near the coastlines or bodies of water.
Below is an animated view of the entire Earth at nighttime as photographed by the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) satellite.
” The data was acquired over nine days in April 2012 and thirteen days in October 2012. It took satellite 312 orbits and 2.5 terabytes of data to get a clear shot of every parcel of Earth’s land surface and islands. This new data was then mapped over existing Blue Marble imagery of Earth to provide a realistic view of the planet.“
To see the entire series of 23 photos, visit Flickr