NASA's "Black Marble" Photos of Earth At Night

Lighting Up Where We Live

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nasa image

credit: NASA Earth Observatory

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“Nighttime light is the most interesting data that I’ve had a chance to work with. I’m always amazed at what city light images show us about human activity.” says Chris Elvidge, who leads the Earth Observation Group at NOAA’s National Geophysical Data Center, on NASA's Flickr set titled "Black Marble".

NASA states that Elvidge's research group "has been approached by scientists seeking to model the distribution of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels and to monitor the activity of commercial fishing fleets. Biologists have examined how urban growth has fragmented animal habitat. Elvidge even learned once of a study of dictatorships in various parts of the world and how nighttime lights had a tendency to expand in the dictator’s hometown or province."