Earth at Night

Satellite images of Earth at night have been a curiosity for the public and a tool of fundamental research for at least 25 years. They have provided a broad, beautiful picture, showing how humans have shaped the planet and lit up the darkness.
City Lights, 2003
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City Lights, 2003

Observations collected at night shed light on the changing face of our planet.

Published Nov 29, 2008

Image of the Day Human Presence

Tokyo at Night
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Tokyo at Night

This nighttime photograph of Tokyo, Japan, was taken by International Space Station astronaut Dan Tani on February 5, 2008. The heart of the city is brightest, with ribbons of lights radiating outward from the center along streets and railways.

Published Apr 22, 2008

Image of the Day Land Life Human Presence

Earth’s City Lights 1994
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Earth’s City Lights 1994

Satellite map of the man-made lights on Earth, which scientists use to study development and urbanization.

Published Oct 23, 2000

Image of the Day Land Human Presence Remote Sensing