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

Then and Now

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nasa image

credit: NASA Earth Observatory

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This image of the area near Delhi, India shows how NASA's satellite technology has progressed and just how excellent the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) really is. "For comparison," writes NASA, "the lower image shows the same area one night earlier, as observed by the Operational Line Scan (OLS) system on a Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) spacecraft."

While the OLS has been a successful sensor, it uses older technology and, as is made clear by the image, has a much lower resolution than VIIRS. VIIRS is 10 to 15 times better than OLS.