Check out these amazing new photos released from NASA on Wednesday (shown left, click to enlarge). New data from the Suomi NPP satellite (click to learn more) brings new light to the night. Composite, cloud free images of the earth show the natural and man-made light during the nighttime. The images (left) are truly spectacular and, while not the first, provide more detail than any other satellite's capabilities. The new VIIRS (Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite ) day-night band on the satellite can better detect and resolve Earth's night lights; it is sensitive enough to detect lights as small as a single street lamp and even the nocturnal glow produced by the Earth's own atmosphere!
These images were created over 22 days, and 312 orbits around the Earth. The NPP satellite orbits Earth every 102 minutes, flying 512 miles above the surface, and capturing data from the Earth's land, oceans, and atmosphere. In addition to these spectacular photos, the satellite data is also used to help forecasters detect the potential for dangerous weather conditions days – even several weeks – in advance. Read more on these new images, here on NOAA.gov.