Earth at Night

Satellite images of Earth at night have been a curiosity for the public and a tool of fundamental research for at least 25 years. They have provided a broad, beautiful picture, showing how humans have shaped the planet and lit up the darkness.
An Odd Symmetry: Argentina After Dark
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An Odd Symmetry: Argentina After Dark

Connect the dots and history emerges.

Published May 23, 2017

Image of the Day Land Human Presence Remote Sensing

Night Lights Change in the Middle East
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Night Lights Change in the Middle East

Changing patterns of nighttime lights are of great interest to demographers, engineers, and humanitarian relief organizations.

Published May 16, 2017

Image of the Day Land Human Presence Remote Sensing

Iceland at Night
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Iceland at Night

Nighttime lights how the Icelandic landscape influences where people live.

Published May 12, 2017

Image of the Day Land Human Presence Snow and Ice

The I-95 Corridor at Night
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The I-95 Corridor at Night

A nearly uninterrupted string of lights stretches from Philadelphia to Hartford.

Published May 1, 2017

Image of the Day Land Human Presence

Night Light Maps Open Up New Applications
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Night Light Maps Open Up New Applications

By removing natural and stray light sources, researchers get a clearer picture of the human footprint on Earth.

Published Apr 13, 2017

Image of the Day Fires Unique Imagery Human Presence Remote Sensing

Earth at Night
Article

Earth at Night

Satellite images of Earth at night have been a curiosity for the public and a tool of fundamental research for at least 25 years. They have provided a broad, beautiful picture, showing how humans have shaped the planet and lit up the darkness.

Published Apr 12, 2017

Atmosphere Land Human Presence Remote Sensing

Finding Fires Before They Rage
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Finding Fires Before They Rage

Scientists have found a way to detect nighttime fires even sooner, when they are still relatively small.

Published Apr 7, 2017

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Remote Sensing

Etna Erupts
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Etna Erupts

The volcano produced streams of lava in March 2017.

Published Mar 23, 2017

Heat Volcanoes Human Presence Remote Sensing

Sky Aglow Over Antarctica
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Sky Aglow Over Antarctica

A satellite detected the visible light produced by electrically charged particles hitting the atmosphere—also known as the aurora australis.

Published Mar 21, 2017

Atmosphere Unique Imagery

Nighttime Glow at Mount Etna
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Nighttime Glow at Mount Etna

Hot lava is visible at the summit of Sicily's Mount Etna during a recent bout of activity.

Published Mar 16, 2017

Heat Land Volcanoes

Naples and Mount Vesuvius at Night
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Naples and Mount Vesuvius at Night

Millennia of human development stand alongside mainland Europe’s only active volcano.

Published Mar 6, 2017

Image of the Day Human Presence

Houston at Night
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Houston at Night

Astronauts on the Space Station had a glowing view of their professional home, as well as the site of Super Bowl 51.

Published Feb 4, 2017

Image of the Day Land Human Presence Remote Sensing

Lights in the Darkness
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Lights in the Darkness

A strong solar wind stream stirred up a display of northern lights over northern Canada.

Published Dec 25, 2016

Image of the Day Atmosphere

Snow Blankets Great Lakes Region
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Snow Blankets Great Lakes Region

A cold air mass brought more snow across the Upper Midwest.

Published Dec 15, 2016

Image of the Day Unique Imagery Snow and Ice

Power Outages Plague Southeast
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Power Outages Plague Southeast

Hurricane Matthew knocked out power for more than one million customers as it grazed the coasts of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.

Published Oct 9, 2016

Image of the Day Atmosphere Life Severe Storms Human Presence Remote Sensing

Puerto Rico Goes Dark
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Puerto Rico Goes Dark

A power plant fire left much of the island without electricity.

Published Sep 23, 2016

Image of the Day Land Fires Unique Imagery Human Presence Remote Sensing

Blue Cut Fire at Night
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Blue Cut Fire at Night

Landsat 8 captured a view in the dark with its Thermal Infrared Sensor.

Published Aug 19, 2016

Image of the Day Heat Fires Human Presence Remote Sensing

Rome at Night
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Rome at Night

The radial pattern of highways echoes the ancient saying that “all roads lead to Rome.”

Published Jul 28, 2016

Image of the Day Human Presence

Paris at Night
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Paris at Night

Even in a sea of lights, certain landmarks stand out.

Published Jul 11, 2016

Image of the Day Land Human Presence

Scientists Show Connection Between Gas Flaring and Arctic Pollution
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Scientists Show Connection Between Gas Flaring and Arctic Pollution

Waste natural gas from industrial oil and gas fields could be a source of nitrogen dioxide and black carbon pollution, according to new research.

Published Apr 27, 2016

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Human Presence

Shale Revolution: As Clear as Night and Day
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Shale Revolution: As Clear as Night and Day

The Eagle Ford Shale is one of several gas and oil plays in North America that has taken on new life due to horizontal drilling technology and fracking.

Published Mar 23, 2016

Image of the Day Human Presence

Aurora Colors Skies Over Northern Europe
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Aurora Colors Skies Over Northern Europe

A sensor on the Suomi NPP satellite designed to detect faint light observed the aurora over northern Europe.

Published Mar 9, 2016

Image of the Day Atmosphere Unique Imagery Remote Sensing

Haifa By Day and By Night
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Haifa By Day and By Night

Astronauts are taught to concentrate on the shapes of coastlines for a visual cue about where they are when circling the planet. The nose of Cape Karmel and the bay that protects Haifa are shapes that stand out.

Published Mar 7, 2016

Image of the Day Land Human Presence

London at Night
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London at Night

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station take special care to acquire crisp night shots.

Published Feb 22, 2016

Image of the Day Human Presence

Elba and the Mediterranean at Night
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Elba and the Mediterranean at Night

The reflection of the Moon on the sea surface reveals highly complex patterns on the sea surface.

Published Feb 8, 2016

Image of the Day Land Water Human Presence

A Blizzard by Moonlight
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A Blizzard by Moonlight

The Suomi NPP satellite captured this nighttime view of a major storm system as it started dumping heavy snow on the eastern United States.

Published Jan 24, 2016

Image of the Day Severe Storms Human Presence Snow and Ice

Remnants of Patricia Drench Texas and Louisiana
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Remnants of Patricia Drench Texas and Louisiana

Remnants of Hurricane Patricia dropped heavy rains in Texas and Louisiana.

Published Oct 26, 2015

Atmosphere Severe Storms

India-Pakistan Border at Night
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India-Pakistan Border at Night

This photograph shows one of the few places on Earth where an international boundary can be seen at night.

Published Oct 5, 2015

Image of the Day Land Human Presence

Fires at Night in the U.S. Northwest
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Fires at Night in the U.S. Northwest

Fires burn night and day across Washington, Idaho, and Oregon.

Published Aug 22, 2015

Image of the Day Heat Land Life Fires

Mid-Summer Auroras
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Mid-Summer Auroras

Solar storms smacked into Earth’s magnetic field and provoked auroras over the southern and northern hemisphere just after the summer solstice.

Published Jun 28, 2015

Image of the Day Atmosphere Unique Imagery