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Earth at Night

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 are providing a clearer picture of the human footprint on Earth.

Image of the Day Fires Unique Imagery Human Presence Remote Sensing

Mustang Complex Fires in Idaho
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Mustang Complex Fires in Idaho

Numerous hot spots from the Mustang Complex Fire are visible in northern Idaho. A plume of thick, billowing smoke streams west from the brightest fires near the Idaho-Montana border.

Image of the Day Heat Land Fires Unique Imagery

Marine Layer Clouds off the California Coast
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Marine Layer Clouds off the California Coast

The Suomi NPP VIIRS “day-night band” makes it possible to view low clouds even at night—something earlier satellites have had difficulty doing.

Image of the Day Atmosphere Fires Unique Imagery Human Presence World of Change

Waves in Airglow
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Waves in Airglow

During a thunderstorm over Texas, atmospheric ripples were visible in the faint emissions of light of the upper atmosphere.

Image of the Day Atmosphere Fires Unique Imagery Remote Sensing World of Change

Moon Phases Over the Persian Gulf
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Moon Phases Over the Persian Gulf

Acquired between September 30 and October 15, 2012, these images illustrate the effects of moonlight on viewing the Persian Gulf region.

Image of the Day Fires Unique Imagery Human Presence Remote Sensing

Auroras light up the Antarctic night
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Auroras light up the Antarctic night

The “southern lights” were bright enough to illuminate the ice below.

Image of the Day Atmosphere Fires Unique Imagery Snow and Ice Remote Sensing

City Lights Illuminate the Nile
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City Lights Illuminate the Nile

At night, the Nile River Valley and Delta resemble a giant flower in this image from October 13, 2012.

Image of the Day Land Fires Unique Imagery Human Presence

Gas Drilling, North Dakota
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Gas Drilling, North Dakota

Cities and people are scarce in northwestern North Dakota, but nighttime satellite imagery shows the Bakken Formation aglow with brightly-lit drilling equipment.

Image of the Day Land Fires Unique Imagery Human Presence

City Lights of the United States 2012
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City Lights of the United States 2012

Updated for 2012, this map of lights across America has a least 10 times better resolution than previous maps.

Image of the Day Fires Unique Imagery Human Presence

Monitoring the Arctic during Polar Darkness
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Monitoring the Arctic during Polar Darkness

Acquired October 30, 2012, this day-night band image offers a detailed view of clouds, snow cover, and sea ice.

Image of the Day Atmosphere Land Water Fires Unique Imagery Snow and Ice

Korea and the Yellow Sea
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Korea and the Yellow Sea

While city lights at night serve as a good proxy for population density, North Korea provides a dark exception.

Image of the Day Land Water Fires Unique Imagery Human Presence

Old Night Vision Meets New
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Old Night Vision Meets New

New images from Suomi NPP are an order of magnitude better than previous satellite views of city lights.

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

Night Lights 2012 - The Black Marble
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Night Lights 2012 - The Black Marble

This animated globe shows the city lights of the world as they appeared to the new Suomi NPP satellite, which has at least 10 times better light-resolving power than previous night-viewing satellites.

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

City Lights of Africa, Europe, and the Middle East
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City Lights of Africa, Europe, and the Middle East

A sensitive new sensor allows a clearer view of dim night lights on Earth.

Fires Unique Imagery

City Lights of Asia and Australia
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City Lights of Asia and Australia

A sensitive new sensor allows a clearer view of dim night lights on Earth.

Fires Unique Imagery Human Presence

City Lights of the Americas
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City Lights of the Americas

The Suomi NPP satellite has a potent new sensor for distinguishing Earth’s night lights.

Fires Unique Imagery Human Presence

Night Lights 2012 - Flat map
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Night Lights 2012 - Flat map

The lights of cities and villages trace the outlines of civilization in this global view.

Fires Unique Imagery Human Presence Remote Sensing