“Remarkably detailed view” of Earth at night Today’s Video of the Day from NASA Goddard features incredible views of planet Earth at night.
The spectacular composite images were captured by the day-night band of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), which is located onboard the NASA-NOAA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite.
While many satellites are equipped to look at our planet during the day, the VIIRS sensor provides scientists with the opportunity to observe the Earth and its atmosphere at night.
Steve Miller is a researcher at NOAA’s Colorado State University Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere.
“For all the reasons that we need to see Earth during the day, we also need to see Earth at night,” said Miller. “Unlike humans, the Earth never sleeps.” The night is nowhere near as dark as most of us think. In fact, Earth is never really dark; it twinkles with lights from humans and nature. Away from human life the light still shines. Wildfires and volcanoes rage. Day and night on earth are caused by the rotation of earth on its axis.
This axis of earth is an imaginary line passing through the north and the south poles. The earth spins on it at an incline. The air warms up a modest amount during the day but quickly loses heat at night. The planet also lacks large bodies of water that would help retain heat the solar heat. Earth has all of the above in abundance. “Remarkably detailed view” of Earth at night as shown above.
By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer
Video Credit: NASA Goddard