Time Lapse Video From International Space Station Captures Mystery City in North Dakota


Six days ago we posted this incredible video of a time lapse sequence of photographs taken by Ron Garan and the crew aboard the International Space Station from August to October of this year. The video captures so many incredible images, such as the Aurora Borealis passing over Turtle Island at night, Aurora Australis passing from Madagascar to Southwest Australia, and lightning pulsing across the globe.

What we found out after posting the video is it also happens to show what appeared to be an unknown city in North Dakota, a city that wasn't on any map, lit up as brightly as Minneapolis. In one portion of the video, as Canada and the Midwest of the United States is in view, you can clearly see the bright pulsing lights of Calgary, Edmonton, and a large, shining city in North Dakota that is, in fact, not a city at all.  That city turned out to be the Bakken Oil Fields.

The Bakken Oil Fields are as bright as a major city

The Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation (MHA Nation) are planning to begin processing oil from the Bakken Formation, a shale rock strata covering parts of Montana, North Dakota and Canada.  The fields size have always part of the allure of trying to extract oil from them, a point that is not diminished by the fact that they are visible from space.

The Bakken Oil Fields are one of the largest in the world, covering nearly 200,000 square miles in North Dakota, Montana and Canada.

Ken Paulman of Midwest Energy News wrote that the huge amount of light given off in the Bakken Oil Fields area is partially due to natural gas flares, flaming discharges used at oil fields to keep equipment from overpressure.

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