Turtle Island at night (top left, above South America) is a sight to behold from space, courtesy of NASA. (Photo: NASA Goddard/NASA's Earth Observatory/NOAA/DOD)

Big Black Marble: From Turtle Island Electric to Australian Wildfires, Mother Earth Glitters in the Dark

ICTMN Staff
12/6/12

She sparkles and shimmers when the sun goes down. We have always known this intuitively about our Mother Earth, but now we’ve got shots from space to prove it.

Earlier this year NASA compiled satellite data to create stunning high-definition images of the Big Blue Marble, building on the spectacular shot from the 1970s that sparked the modern environmental movement. Now the space agency has gone a step further and captured images of Mother Earth at night, in all her glittering glory.

In some places, electric lights shine like solitary stars. Elsewhere they resemble galaxy clusters. In Egypt, boats make a diamond bracelet out of the Nile River, and in the Middle East, oil refinery fires flicker. In Australia the flames that can be seen come from wildfires, not refinery operations.

NASA released the photos taken by the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership Satellite (Suomi NPP), the space agency says on its website. Suomi NPP is a joint program between NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Suomi NPP captured this nighttime image by the satellite's Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS).

The images comprising these never-before-seen high-definition photos of Black Marble Earth from space were taken during nine days in April and 13 days in October, NASA said. The video below takes us on a tour. 

You need to be logged in in order to post comments
Please use the log in option at the bottom of this page