Beautiful Pictures Of Earth At Night From Space


Photo: Courtesy Lights of Mankind: Earth at From Space/NASA

Earthbound folks rarely get the chance to see how the planet’s city lights glow from space. In 2010, author L. Douglas Keeney noticed pictures being tweeted by astronauts on the International Space Station. 

The clear images of Earth’s city lights were made possible by new camera technology that was able to shoot high-resolution photos even as the station moved at a rapid 17,500 miles an hour some 240 miles above Earth’s surface. 

Keeney then got to work, pouring through more than 300,000 unmarked NASA photo, choosing 400 of the best images for his book the Lights of Mankind: The Earth at Night as Seen from Space.

Keeney shared seven of his favourite photos with us, which he dubbed the “Seven Wonder of the Nighttime World.” 

The Eastern Seaboard of the US: The lights of Richmond, Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City are visible along with the distinct geographic features of New England, including Boston Harbor, Chesapeake Bay, and The Delaware. Notice how far inland cities lie below New York.

Source: L. Douglas Keeney

Egypt: The River Nile from the Valley of the Kings (bottom) to Cairo and Alexandria. Gaza, Israel, Syria, and Jordan are to the right on the western rim of the Mediterranean.

Source: L. Douglas Keeney

Greece: Athens is at centre left.

Source: L. Douglas Keeney

Japan: If you orient this so the curvature of the Earth is at the top, Tokyo is to the right. Shades of white and blue-green represent harbors and bays of the island nation.

Source: L. Douglas Keeney

Source: L. Douglas Keeney

Italy: Sicily is off the toe of Italy to the left. The entire nation is rimmed in lights, making it one of the few places that looks the same by day and night.

Source: L. Douglas Keeney

Korean Peninsula: The bright lights of Seoul, South Korea (left) stand in stark contrast to the darkness of North Korea. Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, is the small dot in the centre. China is to the far right.

Source: L. Douglas Keeney

Mission Commander Douglas Wheelock aims a camera out of one of the windows in the Cupola.

More photos from space are a click away

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