Earth At Night

I came across this video (attached below) that shows earth at night.  It uses new aerospace technologies to detect various light sources across the globe.  The aerospace instrument can detect electricity from massive cities such as New York as well as oiling rigs in the Middle East which emit lighting as well.  I thought this offered a unique view of the world as never seen before.  In addition, I can’t quite imagine how much data the telescope would collect in order to piece this scene together.  The photos would be in high definition and there must be hundreds of thousands in order to complete the picture.  I dug around a bit on NASA’s website to try and come across more information.  Luckily, I was able to find an entire section devoted to this project (found at: http://npp.gsfc.nasa.gov/science/index.html).  I urge everyone to check it out and let me know what you all think.  Is it a waste of money or beneficial for science? Feel free to comment!

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/12/suomi-satellite-night-lights-gallery/?pid=5622

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3 Responses to Earth At Night

  1. hoffalex says:

    I found the earth at night photos to be very enlightening. As far as the placement of the lights, there weren’t too many surprises, the lights seemed to be mostly clustered around heavily urbanized areas such as western Europe and the seemed though I would have expected that a few regions, such as California, would have showed a little more activity. In terms of scientific merit, I can’t see any particularly scientific value that this project might bring, although perhaps the results could have scientific merit that I’m simply not anticipating.

  2. aserafim says:

    I was very surprised by how the right half of the United States is more well lite than the left side. Also, when Italy was shown, I was astound by the number of lights. The whole country was pretty much covered. It’s kind of crazy to see where there are people living in the world with faint lights in the most random places such as in the ocean, deserts, and especially the Himalayas.

  3. lzaima says:

    These are really amazing pictures. My favorite is the slider of the Washington DC blackout. Can you imagine seeing that image while living in the area at that time, knowing that in a 50 mile radius around you in Philly that no one has power? The weather pictures are intriguing as well. It also gives you an idea of the true size of hurricanes and tropical storms since most of the time they are significantly smaller once they come close to land.

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