Profile cover photo
Profile photo
Remote sensing satellites, Landsat, Education, Outreach
Remote sensing satellites, Landsat, Education, Outreach

WyomingView's posts

Post has shared content
NASA releases "new global maps of Earth at night, providing the clearest-yet views of the patterns of human settlements across our planet." (Source: NASA Earth)
An Electric New View of Earth at Night

Satellite images of Earth at night—often referred to as “night lights”—have been a curiosity for the public and a tool of fundamental research for at least 25 years. They have provided a broad, beautiful picture, showing how humans have shaped the planet and lit up the darkness. Produced every decade or so, such maps have spawned hundreds of pop-culture uses and dozens of economic, social science, and environmental research projects.

But what would happen if scientists removed the moonlight, fires, and other natural sources of light and updated such nighttime images yearly, monthly, or even daily? A research team led by NASA Earth scientist Miguel Román plans to find out this year.

Since the 2011 launch of the NASA-NOAA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi-NPP) satellite and the 2012 release of Earth at night maps, Román and colleagues at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center have been analyzing night lights data and developing new software and algorithms to make those data clearer, more accurate, and more readily available. A research team in the Earth Observing Satellite Data and Information System (EOSDIS) also has been working to integrate nighttime data into NASA’s Global Imagery Browse Services (GIBS) and Worldview mapping tools. Freely available to the science community and public via the Web, GIBS and Worldview allow users to see natural- and false-color images of Earth within hours of satellite acquisition.

The images here show Earth’s night lights as observed in 2016; they are drawn from a new global composite map (below) that was just added to Worldview and GIBS. The compositing technique selected the best cloud-free nights in each month over each land mass. (Note that clouds and sunlight are added to some images on this page for aesthetic effect; those data are drawn from our Blue Marble products.) The team has also reprocessed 2012 data with the new techniques so that researchers can compare and contrast light sources over the years. By late 2017, Román and colleagues hope to provide daily high-definition views of Earth at night.

To make the new maps, Román and colleagues examined the different ways that light is radiated, scattered, and reflected by land, atmospheric, and ocean surfaces. The principal challenge in nighttime satellite imaging is accounting for the phases of the Moon, which constantly vary the amount of light shining on Earth, though in predictable ways. Likewise, seasonal vegetation, clouds, aerosols, snow and ice cover, and even faint atmospheric emissions (such as airglow and auroras) change the way light appears in different parts of the world.

Román and colleagues have been building remote sensing techniques to filter out these sources of extraneous light, gathering a better and more consistent signal of how human-driven patterns and processes are changing. The improved processing moves Suomi NPP closer to its full potential of observing dim light down to the scale of an isolated highway lamp or a fishing boat.

Read more about the new nights lights imagery:

See a gallery of night lights images:

Download a global map and find your area:

Read more about night lights imagery:
4 Photos - View album

Post has attachment
Photos from the 2017 AmericaView Winter Business Meeting (Reston, VA)

Post has attachment
Radiant Earth
Philanthropists to fund 'Radiant Earth' project, "a repository and archive of the world's satellite, aerial and drone imagery." This project "aims to find ways to combine and analyze Earth data and imagery and offer it free of charge in formats that do not require specific expertise to understand. (Source: Thomsom Reuters Foundation).

Post has attachment
"NOAA/NASA Suomi NPP satellite in 2016 (left) and 2017 (right) show just how much the recent West Coast rains have swollen California's lakes and rivers downslope of the Sierra Mountains."

(source: NOAA Environmental Visualization Lab)

Post has attachment
Swirling floating vegetation created this votax when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite flew over in February 2017 (source: NASA Earth)

Post has attachment
Science on canvas: Photographs capture thawing Greenland - source: NASA

Post has attachment
PSLV-C37 / Cartosat-2 series Mission Lift off Normal as expected

India's ISRO launches its next remote sensing satellite Cartosat-2 and 103 other satellites from a single rocket (source: ISRO). 

Post has attachment
How imagery is used in agriculture... (source: The Trajectory Magazine)

Post has attachment
"A new ESA study has been started on how future remote sensing instruments could be used to actively monitor marine litter from space..." (source: ESA)

Post has attachment
This photo taken from ISS shows the checkerboard pattern. What could have caused this? More on NASA Earth Observatory site (source: NASA)
Wait while more posts are being loaded