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Earth Movie Shows Spread of Humanity

Credit: NASA Earth Observatory/NOAA NGDC

The night side of Earth twinkles with light, and the first thing to stand out is the cities. “Nothing tells us more about the spread of humans across the Earth than city lights,” asserts Chris Elvidge, a NOAA scientist who has studied this specialized imagery for 20 years.

A new global view and animation of Earth’s city lights is a composite assembled from data acquired by the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) satellite.

The data was acquired over nine days in April 2012 and thirteen days in October 2012. It took satellite 312 orbits and 2.5 terabytes of data to get a clear shot of every parcel of Earth’s land surface and islands.

This new data was then mapped over existing Blue Marble imagery of Earth to provide a realistic view of the planet.

Check out this impressive movie at:

http://eoimages2.gsfc.nasa.gov/images/imagerecords/79000/79803/earth_night_rotate_web.h264.mov

By Leonard David

Live Sun Image
 
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