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December 5, 2012

Black Marble: The Earth at Night

From The Atlantic: "For three weeks spread out over April and October of this year, the Suomi NPP satellite (jointly of NASA and NOAA) scanned all the Earth's land as it appeared at night. Scientists then mapped the satellite's data — 2.5 terabytes — over an earlier Blue Marble image, transforming that picture's daytime blues, browns, and greens into a night time palette of blues, blacks, and gold."

"The Suomi NPP’s Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite can detect lights as faint as a lone highway lamp — meaning pretty much any human outcropping where electricity runs. 'Nothing tells us more about the spread of humans across the Earth than city lights,' says NOAA scientist Chris Elvidge. When you watch the video above (and do expand to full screen), you can see at the horizon how daylight masks human development but, as the land falls dark, the signals of our settlements glow bright, giving us 'a global view of the human footprint on the Earth.'"

December 5, 2012 at 07:01 PM | Permalink


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Posted by: 6.02*10^23 | Dec 7, 2012 3:32:07 PM

This is cool! My home Chicago needs to turn off the light when leaving the room! Our bad....

Posted by: friskypainter | Dec 6, 2012 11:56:46 PM

Fun game – matching lights to cities/areas using Google maps – some mysteries – for example what is the brilliant light source emanating from Western Australia near Port Hedland

Posted by: sherlock | Dec 6, 2012 8:18:11 PM

I had no idea there was so little between the coast of California and the middle of the country. Feels like we're out here on the very edge of civilization.

Posted by: tamra | Dec 6, 2012 3:22:04 AM

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