NASA's Black Marble shows the Earth from Space 2012

NASA and NOAA launched a satellite last year to observe Earth's atmosphere and surface during ...

NASA and NOAA launched a satellite last year to observe Earth's atmosphere and surface during nighttime hours. Now Scientists unveiled an unprecedented new look at our planet at night. A global composite image, constructed using cloud-free night images from a new NASA and NOAA satellite, shows the glow of natural and human-built phenomena across the planet in greater detail than ever before. NASA named this higher resolution composite image of Earth at night as "Black Marble" which was released at a news conference at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco. 

The new sensor, the day-night band of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), is sensitive enough to detect the nocturnal glow produced by Earth's atmosphere and the light from a single ship in the sea. Satellites in the U.S. Defense Meteorological Satellite Program have been making observations with low-light sensors for 40 years. But the VIIRS day-night band can better detect and resolve Earth's night lights.







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