This week's #EarthFromSpace feature looks at two images of Europe at night showing lights from sources in cities and along roads. The images were acquired by the United States’ DMSP satellites.

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The images show night illumination for 1992 and 2010. Bright areas highly correlate with high population density – such as the densely populated cities like London, Paris and Rome.Coastal areas are also more populated than inland regions, making the outline of Europe clearly visible in these night images.

But by indicating population and economic growth, bright spots on these images also represent areas of high energy consumption, emissions and pollution – factors that greatly contribute to climate change.

On 31 March, millions of people around the world will switch off their lights for 60 minutes in a demonstration against climate change and to promote a more sustainable lifestyle. This sixth annual 'Earth Hour' is organised by the World Wildlife Fund and supported by ESA.

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