Popular Science

These new photos of Earth lit up at night are actually pretty useful

My god, it's full of street lamps
VIIRS view of Europe

NASA/NOAA

A composite image with some artistic liberties taken to enhance the satellite imagery.

We all like looking at pretty pictures of the Earth from space. Well, so does NASA—but for different reasons. NASA and its partner-in-crime, NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) have been taking pictures of our globe from satellites for years now to better understand things like weather patterns and large-scale human impacts. They've mostly been taking those images during the day, simply because it's easier

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