Holiday lights from space

Posted to Maps  |  Tags: , ,  |  Nathan Yau

You’ve likely seen the classic globe image that shows Earth at night. It’s a composite image using data collected over a nine-day period, so you kind of see what the planet looks like if it were night at the same time everywhere. While interesting in its own right, it lacks a time component. The researchers are on it and noticed an increase in light during the holiday months.

It’s official — our holiday lights are so bright we can see them from space. Thanks to the VIIRS instrument on the Suomi NPP satellite, a joint mission between NASA and NOAA, scientists are presenting a new way of studying satellite data that can illustrate patterns in holiday lights, both during Christmas and the Holy Month of Ramadan. These new tools can provide new insights into how energy consumption behaviors vary across different cultural settings.

More details in the video below.

[via Boing Boing]

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