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Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Let your light shine tonight ...


In daylight our big blue marble is all land, oceans and clouds. But the night - is electric.

This view of Earth at night is a cloud-free view from space as acquired by the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership Satellite (Suomi NPP). A joint program by NASA and NOAA, Suomi NPP captured this nighttime image by the satellite's Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS). The day-night band on VIIRS detects light in a range of wavelengths from green to near infrared and uses filtering techniques to observe signals such as city lights, gas flares, and wildfires. This new image is a composite of data acquired over nine days in April and thirteen days in October 2012. It took 312 satellite orbits and 2.5 terabytes of data to get a clear shot of every parcel of land surface.
 
The above video uses the Earth at night view created by NASA's Earth Observatory with data processed by NOAA's National Geophysical Data Center and combined with a version of the Earth Observatory's Blue Marble: Next Generation.

22 days of data from the Suomi NPP satellite went into making this beautiful and eerie view of the Earth at night, spinning in a black sky. The satellite can see in the visible and near-infrared at high sensitivity, able to map city lights, fires, and even moonlit weather. This animation is made from real images, mapped onto the previously existing Blue Marble images to make the view more realistic.

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