Featured at the American Geophysical Union conference today...
Originally Posted by NASA
Scientists unveiled today an unprecedented new look at our planet at night.
Away from human settlements, light still shines. Wildfires and volcanoes rage. Oil and gas wells burn like candles. Auroras dance across the polar skies. Moonlight and starlight reflect off the water, snow, clouds, and deserts. Even the air and ocean sometimes glow.
A handful of scientists have observed earthly night lights over the past four decades with military satellites and astronaut photography. But in 2012, the view became significantly clearer. The Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite — launched in October 2011 by NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Department of Defense — carries a low-light sensor that can distinguish night lights with six times better spatial resolution and 250 times better resolution of lighting levels (dynamic range) than before. Also, because Suomi NPP is a civilian science satellite, data is available to scientists within minutes to hours of acquisition.
The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on Suomi NPP can observe dim light down to the scale of an isolated highway lamp or fishing boat. It can even detect faint, nocturnal atmospheric light — known as airglow — and observe clouds lit by it. Through the use of its “day-night band,” VIIRS can make the first quantitative measurements of light emissions and reflections, distinguishing the intensity and the sources of night light. The sum of these measurements gives us a global view of the human footprint on the Earth.
Always has to be someone who makes a comment like this
And? He's right, this may have been impressive and interesting when you were a kid. Not today though, this belongs in the category common knowledge. Are you impressed when someone tells you the earth orbits around the sun as well?
Whenever I see a night-sky map, I'm looking at how far I'd have to go to get a good look at the night sky. I don't wish I lived in the boonies of Nevada or Arizona or Canada, but IMO looking up at clear dark night away from all these lights is a million times more impressive than looking down at them. Don't get me wrong, I love satellite imagery.
Originally Posted by Zogarth
Earth if pretty. And damn Australia is a dark place to live
Anyone from AUS? Seemed like in that image, there were dozens of fairly huge wildfires going at once, is that real or is that a composite of, like, a whole summer?
And just because I was promised auroras and didn't get any: