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Black Marble: Amazing Earth at Night Photos from Space

Earth's 'Night Lights'

NASA/Suomi NPP VIIRS/Miguel Román/Joshua Stevens

NASA has released new, high-definition satellite images of Earth's "night lights" for the first time since 2012. This composite image of the Earth as a "black marble" shows Asia and Australia in 2016. [Watch the video]

City Lights of the Americas

NASA/Suomi NPP VIIRS/Miguel Román/Joshua Stevens

Joshua Stevens, a data visualization expert at NASA's Earth Observatory, used data from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument on the NASA-NOAA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite to create full-hemisphere views of Earth by night.

Europe & Africa

NASA/Suomi NPP VIIRS/Miguel Román/Joshua Stevens

Scientists can use these nighttime views to study how patterns of human settlement have changed over time.

Earth in the Dark

NASA/Suomi NPP VIIRS/Miguel Román/Joshua Stevens

This composite shows what the entire planet looks like by night. Of course, it's always daytime somewhere, so NASA had to stitch together nighttime images from around the globe to create this view.

Europe

NASA/Suomi NPP VIIRS/Miguel Román/Joshua Stevens

This composite image of Europe at night was taken by the NASA-NOAA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite in 2016.

India

NASA/Suomi NPP VIIRS/Miguel Román/Joshua Stevens

This composite image of India at night was taken by the NASA-NOAA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite in 2016.

Nile River

NASA/Suomi NPP VIIRS/Miguel Román/Joshua Stevens

This composite image of the Nile River and surrounding region at night was taken by the NASA-NOAA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite in 2016.

United States

NASA/Suomi NPP VIIRS/Miguel Román/Joshua Stevens

This composite image of the U.S. at night was taken by the NASA-NOAA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite in 2016.

Mid-Atlantic & Northeastern U.S.

NASA/Suomi NPP VIIRS/Miguel Román/Joshua Stevens

The Tri-State area (including New York City) glows in this nighttime compostie view taken by the NASA-NOAA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite in 2016.

Chicago

NASA/Suomi NPP VIIRS/Miguel Román/Joshua Stevens

Lake Michigan looks exceptionally dark beside the glowing city lights of Chicago, Illinois. This view was created by the NASA-NOAA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite in 2016.

The Americas in 2012

NOAA/NASA/SuomiNPP

This image of North and South America at night is a composite assembled from data acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite in April and October 2012. The data was mapped over existing Blue Marble imagery of Earth to provide a realistic view of the planet.

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