Buy this Earth at Night - North America space photo.
High quality Suomi NPP picture, slide, or Duratrans backlit transparency.
NASA photograph EarthAtNight-2012b. Wide variety of sizes.
This image of the United States of America at night is a composite assembled from data acquired by the Suomi
NPP satellite in April and October 2012. The image was made possible by the new satellite’s “day-night band” of
the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), which detects light in a range of wavelengths from green to
near-infrared and uses filtering techniques to observe dim signals such as city lights, gas flares, auroras,
wildfires, and reflected moonlight.
“Nighttime light is the most interesting data that I’ve had a chance to work with,” says Chris Elvidge, who leads
the Earth Observation Group at NOAA’s National Geophysical Data Center. “I’m always amazed at what city light
images show us about human activity.” His research group has been approached by scientists seeking to model
the distribution of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels and to monitor the activity of commercial fishing
fleets. Biologists have examined how urban growth has fragmented animal habitat. Elvidge even learned once of
a study of dictatorships in various parts of the world and how nighttime lights had a tendency to expand in the
dictator’s hometown or province.
Named for satellite meteorology pioneer Verner Suomi, NPP flies over any given point on Earth's surface twice
each day at roughly 1:30 a.m. and p.m. The polar-orbiting satellite flies 824 kilometers (512 miles) above the
surface, sending its data once per orbit to a ground station in Svalbard, Norway, and continuously to local direct
broadcast users distributed around the world.
Date released: December 5, 2012