Like Don McLean once said
Starry, starry night
Flaming flowers that brightly blaze…
Who would think that we would be seeing ‘flaming flowers’ from the Satellite imagery.
The human footprint on Earth can be revealed by city lights in striking detail, which have been used to model the spatial distribution of economic activity or carbon dioxide emissions can be measured quantitatively from natural gas flares.
Many of today’s satellites are equipped to look at Earth during the day, when they can observe relatively bright objects – especially those illuminated by the sun. But the “day-night band” of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument on the Suomi NPP satellite is equipped with advanced technology that extends the view of Earth’s atmosphere and surface into the nighttime hours.
This image of the United States of America at night is a composite assembled from data acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite in April and October 2012. The image was made possible by the new satellite’s “day-night band” of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), which detects light in a range of wavelengths from green to near-infrared and uses filtering techniques to observe dim signals such as city lights, gas flares, auroras, wildfires, and reflected moonlight.