Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

Earth Seen from Santa’s Sleigh

Earth at Night.

This is what the Earth looks like at night. Can you find your favorite country or city? Surprisingly, city lights make this task quite possible. Human-made lights highlight particularly developed or populated areas of the Earth’s surface, including the seaboards of Europe, the eastern United States, and Japan. Many large cities are located near rivers or oceans so that they can exchange goods cheaply by boat. Particularly dark areas include the central parts of South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia. The above image is actually a composite of hundreds of pictures made by the orbiting DMSP satellites.

Image: C. Mayhew & R. Simmon (NASA/GSFC), NOAA/NGDC, DMSP Digital Archive.

Happy Holidays to everyone.

If you have a high-resolution digitized nature image that you’d like to share with your fellow readers, feel free to email it to me, along with information about the image and how you’d like it to be credited.

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Comments

  1. #1 flalawguy
    December 24, 2006
  2. #3 Tony P
    December 24, 2006

    I can’t actually pinpoint my city but I can give you an idea. See that big glowing blob just near Cape Cod? That pretty much covers the area from Boston, MA to Manhattan. I’m in the middle, in Providence.

  3. #4 Mustafa Mond, FCD
    December 24, 2006

    Particularly dark areas include the central parts of South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia.

    Not to mention North Korea.

    I’d like to know what property of viewing the world from Santa’s sleigh causes the distortion of the polar regions.

  4. #5 todd
    December 26, 2006

    Nice image, notice New Zealand nearly got missed by santa.

    ————————
    UAVDEV

  5. #6 todd
    December 26, 2006

    Nice image, notice New Zealand nearly got missed by santa.

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    UAVDEV

  6. #7 Mark
    December 26, 2006

    I wonder by what rationale santa gives the children in the brightly lit areas nicer presents.

    By the way, I’m in that brightly lit area dangling off the southeast US. Lots of old people with bad eyesight here:)

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