Posted on December 5, 2012
Source: Business Insider
Dec. 5, 2012, 2:07 PM
Scientists unveiled the most detailed view of what the Earth likes at
night at a news conference at the American Geophysical Union meeting on
Wednesday, Dec. 5.
The new nighttime view of Earth’s city lights is compiled from hundreds of images that come from a new NASA and NOAA satellite, called Suomi NPP.
Suomi NPP is special because it’s equipped with a new sensor, called
VIIRS, that can capture images at night even without
moonlight, distinguishing night lights with six times better spatial
resolution and 250 times better resolution of lighting levels than
This means Sumoi NPP can detect faint light down to the scale of something like a highway lamp or a fishing boat.
“It’s like having three simultaneous low-light cameras operating at
once and we pick the best of various cameras, depending on where we’re
looking in the scene,” Steve Miller, an atmospheric scientist at
Colorado State University, said in a statement.
The new Earth at Night picture is a magnitude more detailed than the last Earth at Night picture, which has become a popular poster.
Researchers can use the image to locate and study wildfires, gas flares, auroras, major population centers, and more.
You can see more fantastic views of Earth at Night at NASA’s Earth observatory website.
NASA Earth Observatory/NOAA NGDC
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