Thu Dec 6, 2012, 11:39 AM
n2doc (35,299 posts)
NASA-NOAA Satellite Reveals New Views of Earth at Night
Scientists unveiled today an unprecedented new look at our planet at night. A global composite image, constructed using cloud-free night images from a new NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellite, shows the glow of natural and human-built phenomena across the planet in greater detail than ever before.
This image of the continental United States at night is a composite assembled from data acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite in April and October 2012. The image was made possible by the satellite's "day-night band" of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), which detects light in a range of wavelengths from green to near-infrared and uses filtering techniques to observe dim signals such as city lights, gas flares, auroras, wildfires and reflected moonlight.
Credit: NASA Earth Observatory/NOAA NGDC
› Larger image
Many satellites are equipped to look at Earth during the day, when they can observe our planet fully illuminated by the sun. With a new sensor aboard the NASA-NOAA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite launched last year, scientists now can observe Earth's atmosphere and surface during nighttime hours.
The new sensor, the day-night band of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), is sensitive enough to detect the nocturnal glow produced by Earth's atmosphere and the light from a single ship in the sea. Satellites in the U.S. Defense Meteorological Satellite Program have been making observations with low-light sensors for 40 years. But the VIIRS day-night band can better detect and resolve Earth's night lights.
The new, higher resolution composite image of Earth at night was released at a news conference at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco. This and other VIIRS day-night band images are providing researchers with valuable data for a wide variety of previously unseen or poorly seen events.
3 replies, 1457 views
Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
NASA-NOAA Satellite Reveals New Views of Earth at Night (Original post)
Response to n2doc (Original post)
Thu Dec 6, 2012, 07:27 PM
yends21012 (228 posts)
South America and Africa are almost completely unlit. Australia, surprising to me, is also mostly unlit. Canada was another surprise. India was a surprise to me on how lit up it was. I think you could overlay dollars or the per capita wealth on the map and see where most of the money is.