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EarthSky // Earth, Science Wire Release Date: Feb 24, 2014

View from space: The Koreas at night

In this ISS astronaut photo of the Korean Peninsula at night, North Korea is almost completely dark compared to neighboring South Korea and China.

Image credit: NASA

View larger. | Image credit: NASA

This photo was taken by an astronaut aboard the International Space Station (ISS) as it flew over the Korean Peninsula on January 30, 2014.

In this north-looking view, North Korea is almost completely dark compared to neighboring South Korea and China. The darkened land appears as if it were a patch of water joining the Yellow Sea to the Sea of Japan. Its capital city, Pyongyang, appears like a small island, despite a population of 3.26 million (as of 2008).

Coastlines are often very apparent in night imagery, as shown by South Korea’s eastern shoreline. But the coast of North Korea is difficult to detect. These differences are illustrated in per capita power consumption in the two countries, with South Korea at 10,162 kilowatt hours and North Korea at 739 kilowatt hours.

Read more from NASA Earth Observatory