1. usagov:

    Image description: This animated gif shows a global composite image showing the glow of natural and human-built phenomena across the planet.

    Learn about the technology used to capture these nighttime images of Earth from space on NASA’s website.


  2. City Lights of Australia, or Not

    The … image above shows the night lights of Australia as observed by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite in April and October 2012. The composite image includes manmade light sources and the light of wildfires. The data were acquired over nine days in April 2012 and thirteen days in October 2012, and it took the satellite 312 orbits and 2.5 terabytes of data to get a clear shot of every parcel of Earth’s land surface.


    The extent of the lighting in the Outback and bush country is a function of composite imaging. Fires and other lights that were detected on one day were integrated into the composite, multi-day picture despite being temporary phenomena. Because different lands burned at different times that the satellite passed over, the cumulative result is the appearance of a massive blaze. But while the cities are fixed, the fires were temporary, moveable features. The night lights data set is a scientific work in progress, and the maps will be refined and improved over time.

    Not every light in the night view matches up with a fire—partly because the fire map does not include fires from April and partly because not every fire leaves a scar that is detectable from space. Even simple cloud cover could prevent burn scars from being observed.

    Aside from the fires, some of the night lights appearing in uninhabited areas can be attributed to natural gas flares, lightning, oil drilling or mining operations, and fishing boats—all of which can show up as points of light. One example is natural gas drilling in the Bakken Formation in North Dakota; another is the fishing boats plying the seas of Asia.

    (via earth-as-art)


  3. New ISS Eyes See Rio San Pablo

    In January 2013, a new Earth-observing instrument was installed on the International Space Station (ISS). ISERV Pathfinder consists of a commercial camera, a telescope, and a pointing system, all positioned to look through the Earth-facing window of ISS’s Destiny module. ISERV Pathfinder is intended as an engineering exercise, with the long-term goal of developing a system for providing imagery to developing nations as they monitor natural disasters and environmental concerns.

    The image above is the “first light” from the new ISERV camera system, taken at 1:44 p.m. local time on February 16, 2013. It shows the Rio San Pablo as it empties into the Golfo de Montijo in Veraguas, Panama. It is an ecological transition zone, changing from agriculture and pastures to mangrove forests, swamps, and estuary systems. The area has been designated a protected area by the National Environmental Authority (ANAM) of Panama and is listed as a “wetland of international importance” under the Ramsar Convention. (Note that the image is rotated so that north is to the upper right.)

    “ISERV’s full potential is yet to be seen, but we hope it will really make a difference in people’s lives,” said principal investigator Burgess Howell of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. “For example, if an earthen dam gives way in Bhutan, we want to be able to show officials where the bridge is out or where a road is washed out or a power substation is inundated. This kind of information is critical to focus and speed rescue efforts.”

    (Source: earth-as-art)


  4. colchrishadfield:

    Sun glinting off the Missouri waters, all the way beyond the horizon.

    Kansas City from space.


  5. colchrishadfield:

    Melbourne, Australia, clear as a bell. An amazing harbor!


  6. colchrishadfield:

    The city of Vancouver from orbit.


  7. Stratocumulus Clouds

    ISS034-E-016601 (4 Jan. 2013) —- On Jan. 4 a large presence of stratocumulus clouds was the central focus of camera lenses which remained aimed at the clouds as the Expedition 34 crew members aboard the International Space Station flew above the northwestern Pacific Ocean about 460 miles east of northern Honshu, Japan. This is a descending pass with a panoramic view looking southeast in late afternoon light with the terminator (upper left). The cloud pattern is typical for this part of the world. The low clouds carry cold air over a warmer sea with no discernable storm pattern.


  8. thesciencellama:


    Commander Chris Hadfield shares the view from the International Space Station via twitter

    (via spaceandstuffidk)



  10. (Source: twitter.com)


  11. newyorker:

     Click-through for a look back at 20 of the most striking images of our home planet as seen from orbit in 2012: http://nyr.kr/UosuxW, images courtesy of NASA’s Earth Observatory,

    (via itsfullofstars)


  12. Title:
    Cresent Earth rises above lunar horizon
    The cresent Earth rises above the lunar horizon in this photograph taken from the Apollo 17 spacecraft in lunar orbit during NASA’s final lunar landing mission in the Apollo program.


  14. "You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that, you son of a bitch."
    — Edgar Mitchell, Apollo 14 astronaut


    On the 40th anniversary of the famous ‘Blue Marble’ photograph taken of Earth from space, Planetary Collective presents a short film documenting astronauts’ life-changing stories of seeing the Earth from the outside – a perspective-altering experience often described as the Overview Effect.

    The Overview Effect, first described by author Frank White in 1987, is an experience that transforms astronauts’ perspective of the planet and mankind’s place upon it. Common features of the experience are a feeling of awe for the planet, a profound understanding of the interconnection of all life, and a renewed sense of responsibility for taking care of the environment.

    ‘Overview’ is a short film that explores this phenomenon through interviews with five astronauts who have experienced the Overview Effect. The film also features insights from commentators and thinkers on the wider implications and importance of this understanding for society, and our relationship to the environment.