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| | Earth on Jul 22, 2013

Earth’s night lights: Watch 24-hour rotation in 30 seconds

Watch an animation of the night side of Earth for one rotation of our planet. Earth’s night twinkles with light, and the first thing to stand out is the cities.

Using satellite date, NASA scientists created this 30-second animation of the night side of Earth for one rotation of our planet. Earth’s night twinkles with light, and the first thing to stand out is the cities.

Nothing tells us more about the spread of humans across the Earth than city lights

… said Chris Elvidge, a NOAA scientist who has studied them for 20 years.

This animation of Earth’s city lights is a composite assembled from data acquired by the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) satellite. The data was acquired over nine days in April 2012 and thirteen days in October 2012. It took satellite 312 orbits and 2.5 terabytes of data to get a clear shot of every parcel of Earth’s land surface and islands.

Read more, see more images from NASA Earth Observatory