New, stunning nighttime views of Earth unveiled

The United States of America is seen at night in this composite image assembled from data acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite in April and October. The image was made possible by the new satellite's "day-night band" of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite, which detects light in a range of wavelengths, from green to near-infrared, and uses filtering techniques to observe dim signals such as city lights, gas flares, auroras, wildfires and reflected moonlight.
NASA/AP Photo The United States of America is seen at night in this composite image assembled from data acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite in April and October. The image was made possible by the new satellite's "day-night band" of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite, which detects light in a range of wavelengths, from green to near-infrared, and uses filtering techniques to observe dim signals such as city lights, gas flares, auroras, wildfires and reflected moonlight.

San Francisco - Twinkling city lights, raging wildfires and colorful auroras are lit up in new dazzling nighttime views of the Earth.

The new images released Wednesday are courtesy of a newly launched NASA-NOAA satellite that's equipped with a sensor to observe the planet at night.

There's the Nile River bathed in city lights. A map of the United States shows the populated East Coast illuminated. Light from fishing boats can be pinpointed.

The satellite also captured the glow from natural sources including moonlight, northern lights and naturally-occurring fires.

After Superstorm Sandy made landfall in late October, hard-hit New Jersey, lower Manhattan and the Rockaways appeared dark in the satellite images compared with surrounding areas - the result of widespread power outages.

This NASA image from a composite assembled from data acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite in April and October 2012 shows the city lights of earth at night. The new data was mapped over existing Blue Marble imagery of Earth to provide a realistic view of the planet. The image was made possible by the new satellite's 'day-night band' of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite, which detects light in a range of wavelengths from green to near-infrared and uses filtering techniques to observe dim signals such as city lights, gas flares, auroras, wildfires, and reflected moonlight. The new data was mapped over existing Blue Marble imagery of Earth to provide a realistic view of the planet.
NASA/AP Photo This NASA image from a composite assembled from data acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite in April and October 2012 shows the city lights of earth at night. The new data was mapped over existing Blue Marble imagery of Earth to provide a realistic view of the planet. The image was made possible by the new satellite's 'day-night band' of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite, which detects light in a range of wavelengths from green to near-infrared and uses filtering techniques to observe dim signals such as city lights, gas flares, auroras, wildfires, and reflected moonlight. The new data was mapped over existing Blue Marble imagery of Earth to provide a realistic view of the planet.
This NASA image from a composite assembled from data acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite in April and October 2012 shows the earth's city lights at night. The new data was mapped over existing Blue Marble imagery of Earth to provide a realistic view of the planet. The image was made possible by the new satellite's
NASA/AP Photo This NASA image from a composite assembled from data acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite in April and October 2012 shows the earth's city lights at night. The new data was mapped over existing Blue Marble imagery of Earth to provide a realistic view of the planet. The image was made possible by the new satellite's "day-night band" of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite, which detects light in a range of wavelengths from green to near-infrared and uses filtering techniques to observe dim signals such as city lights, gas flares, auroras, wildfires, and reflected moonlight.
This image provided by NASA from a composite assembled from data acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite shows Great Britain, Ireland, and part of northwestern Europe, including France, Belgium and the Netherlands, as they appeared on the night of March 27. The image was made possible by the new satellite's
NASA/AP Photo This image provided by NASA from a composite assembled from data acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite shows Great Britain, Ireland, and part of northwestern Europe, including France, Belgium and the Netherlands, as they appeared on the night of March 27. The image was made possible by the new satellite's "day-night band" of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite, which detects light in a range of wavelengths from green to near-infrared and uses filtering techniques to observe dim signals such as city lights, gas flares, auroras, wildfires, and reflected moonlight.
In this image from Sept. 24, provided by NASA, the Korean Peninsula is seen at night from a composite assembled from data acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite. The image was made possible by the new satellite's
NASA/AP Photo In this image from Sept. 24, provided by NASA, the Korean Peninsula is seen at night from a composite assembled from data acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite. The image was made possible by the new satellite's "day-night band" of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite, which detects light in a range of wavelengths from green to near-infrared and uses filtering techniques to observe dim signals such as city lights, gas flares, auroras, wildfires, and reflected moonlight. City lights at night are a fairly reliable indicator of where people live. But this isn't always the case, as the Korean Peninsula shows. As of July, South Koreaís population was estimated at roughly 49 million people, and North Koreaís population was estimated at about half that number. But where South Korea is gleaming with city lights, North Korea has hardly any lights at all, just a faint glimmer around Pyongyang. The wide-area image shows the Korean Peninsula, parts of China and Japan, the Yellow Sea, and the Sea of Japan. The white inset box encloses an area showing ship lights in the Yellow Sea. Many of the ships form a line, as if assembling along a watery border.
In this image from Oct. 13, provided by NASA, the Nile River valley and delta is seen at night from a composite assembled from data acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite. The image was made possible by the new satellite's
NASA/AP Photo In this image from Oct. 13, provided by NASA, the Nile River valley and delta is seen at night from a composite assembled from data acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite. The image was made possible by the new satellite's "day-night band" of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite, which detects light in a range of wavelengths from green to near-infrared and uses filtering techniques to observe dim signals such as city lights, gas flares, auroras, wildfires, and reflected moonlight. The Nile River Valley and Delta comprise less than 5 percent of Egypt's land area, but provide a home to roughly 97 percent of the country's population. Nothing makes the location of human population clearer than the lights illuminating the valley and delta at night. The city lights resemble a giant calla lily, just one with a kink in its stem near the city of Luxor. Some of the brightest lights occur around Cairo, but lights are abundant along the length of the river. Bright city lights also occur along the Suez Canal and around Tel Aviv. Away from the lights, however, land and water appear uniformly black. This image was acquired near the time of the new moon, and little moonlight was available to brighten land and water surfaces.
Hide Comments

READER COMMENTS

Loading comments...
Hide Comments