The city lights of Western Europe •

Last update: September 20th, 2020 at 4:00 pm

Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features a nighttime view of Western Europe. The city lights are visible in the early morning hours of August 5, 2020.

The photo was captured by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the NOAA-NASA Suomi NPP satellite. The VIIRS day-night band is capable of detecting photons of light in 22 different wavelengths ranging from green to near-infrared.

William Stefanov is a remote sensing scientist for the International Space Station science office.

“Nighttime imagery provides an intuitively graspable view of our planet,” said Stefanov. “City lights provide a fairly straightforward means to map urban versus rural areas, and to show where the major population centers are and where they are not. They are also an excellent means to track urban and suburban growth, which feeds into planning for energy use and urban hazards, for studying urban heat islands, and for initializing climate models.”

By Chrissy Sexton, Staff Writer

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory


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