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The Traveller's Magazine
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We already liked NASA, but now? Scientists at the American space agency have revealed some pretty stunning images of Earth at night using the Suomi NPP satellite. They’re pure magic. 

These are not the first images of Earth at night but you have to admit, they are pretty stunning. There have never been images so precise and of such high-quality.

A nighttime composition of the entire globe was put together by NASA and NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration using satellites and not a cloud in sight. It’s astonishing they managed that, even over Britain. The data took 9 days to collect in April, 2012 as well as an additional 13 days in October. It took 312 orbits around the planet to get a clear image of each and every piece of land surface of the continents and all the islands.

The Earth never sleeps

The result speaks for itself. You can see both the light from natural phenomenon and that made by man in such detail like you’ve never seen before. Can you spot the difference between the urban lights as opposed to those coming from forest fires?

“The night is not as bleak as you might think… For the same reasons that we need to see the Earth during the day, we need to see the Earth at night. Contrary to humans, the Earth never sleeps,”

says Steve Miller, a researcher at the NOAA.

Let’s see this project in action.

Img: NASA Earth Observatory / NOAA NGDC

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