January 2, 2001
5:07 PM   Subscribe

This is an amazing photograph of what the world looks like at night, from a low orbit. Although this is found in a subdirectory of NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day, I'm not sure how to get to this pic by surfing the site, nor do I have any information on what was used to do the photographing. The link was sent to me in an email.

Anybody know the details on this one?
posted by lizardboy (13 comments total)

This story is a repost, um, here.

It was done by composite satellite images and schtuff - I think.
posted by holloway at 5:11 PM on January 2, 2001

It seems to be doing an endless round of blogs lately. Can't really complain though, it's stunning.
posted by rodii at 5:52 PM on January 2, 2001

From the date in the URL one may surmise that it's from November, 2000. From the archive index one finds Earth at Night. From the name (and the hints on that page) you fidn that it was taken by various DMSP Satellites (Defense Meteorological Satellite Program). In other words, thank the Air Force more than NASA.
posted by dhartung at 9:09 PM on January 2, 2001

(Not to sound snarky or personal, but geez, this is basic web-archaeology-by-inference!)
posted by dhartung at 9:10 PM on January 2, 2001

One of the links on the page Dan posted (Earth at Night) has a nice little (maybe not so little) discussion about lights. Here it is in fact. Satellite images of several cities are also available. Very cool indeed.

I've seen several pictures similar to this in a few photo shops at malls too. Good stuff.
posted by moural at 9:25 PM on January 2, 2001

Anyone have a link to the new montage of the solar system that was in the papers yesterday? It's the one that looks like it was taken on the moon.
posted by viama at 1:30 AM on January 3, 2001

You know, this image really illustrates the disparity between population and resource consumption.

China, India, and Africa are downright dark when compared to Europe and North America.

Makes you think, don't it?
posted by aladfar at 6:59 AM on January 3, 2001

FWIW, I have a poster of this image. I got it in 1994. This is old stuff caught on fire with the hyper-cross-referencing weblog crowd. Just so you know.
posted by werty at 7:02 AM on January 3, 2001

I think this picture is beautiful in the same way I find the huge western strip mines beautiful (If you've seen the copper mines in southern Arizona, you'll know what I mean.). I think of the people living under those lights. Lights so dense and bright that the people under them look up at the night sky and see . . . nothing. I've been blessed to live in the country under dark skies all my life. Seeing the cosmos every night really reminds you of your place in the universe.
posted by ewagoner at 7:45 AM on January 3, 2001

I've always told people that we're much brighter hear in the NorthEast.
posted by bondcliff at 8:25 AM on January 3, 2001

Not quite as literate, but definetely brighter. <grin>
posted by cCranium at 9:22 AM on January 3, 2001

Oh man. I was worried about my capitalizing the East in Northeast and I just noticed I used "hear" instead of "here".

That's bad, even for my limited vocabulary.

posted by bondcliff at 11:00 AM on January 3, 2001

Werty, any idea where you got the poster?
posted by dhartung at 1:11 PM on January 3, 2001

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