RSSAll Entries Tagged With: "Earth at night"

Earth from Space – Italy at night

ISS image of Italy at night

Italy and Sicily are outlined by city lights in this photo taken by astronauts aboard the International Space Station. A solar power panel belonging to a docked Russian spacecraft can be seen at right.

LOOKING DOWN FROM AN ALTITUDE of around 380 kilometres, the Expedition 28 aboard the International Space Station caught this sight of Italy at night.

At night, Earth’s surface is covered with a delicate tracery of lights, particularly in regions that have a long history of urban development (such as Europe). Large urban areas are recognisable from orbit due to extensive electric lighting and distinct street patterns. With smaller urban areas spread across the land surface and coastlines, the outlines of continental landmasses are easily discernable at night.

This astronaut photograph highlights the night-time appearance of the southern Italian Peninsula. The toe and heel of Italy’s “boot” are clearly defined by the lights of large cities such as Naples, Bari, and Brindisi, as well as numerous smaller cities and towns.

The bordering Adriatic, Tyrrhenian, and Ionian Seas appear as dark regions to the east, west, and south. The city lights of Palermo and Catania, Sicily, are also visible.

The International Space Station (ISS) was located over an area of Romania, close to the capital city of Bucharest (approximately 945 kilometres to the northeast) at the time this image was taken. Part of a solar panel array on a docked Russian spacecraft is visible in the foreground.

The distance between the image subject area and the position of the photographer, as well as the viewing angle looking outwards from the ISS, contributes to the foreshortened appearance of the Italian Peninsula and Sicily.

Astronaut photograph provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment and Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, Johnson Space Centre. Text adapted from information issued by William L. Stefanov, Jacobs/ESCG at NASA-JSC.

Get SpaceInfo.com.au daily updates by RSS or email! Click the RSS Feed link at the top right-hand corner of this page, and then save the RSS Feed page to your bookmarks. Or, enter your email address (privacy assured) and we’ll send you daily updates. Or follow us on Twitter, @spaceinfo_oz

Like this story? Please share or recommend it…

The Nile at Night

Astronaut photo shows city lights along the River Nile and southern Mediterranean

Astronaut photo shows city lights along the River Nile and southern Mediterranean

One of the fascinating aspects of viewing Earth at night is how well the lights show the distribution of people. In this view of Egypt, we see a population almost completely concentrated along the Nile Valley, just a small percentage of the country’s land area.

The Nile River and its delta look like a brilliant, long-stemmed flower in this astronaut photograph of the southeastern Mediterranean Sea, as seen from the International Space Station. The Cairo metropolitan area forms a particularly bright base of the flower.

The smaller cities and towns within the Nile Delta tend to be hard to see amidst the dense agricultural vegetation during the day. However, these settled areas and the connecting roads between them become clearly visible at night. Likewise, urbanised regions and infrastructure along the Nile River becomes apparent.

Another brightly lit region is visible along the eastern coastline of the Mediterranean—the Tel-Aviv metropolitan area in Israel (image right). To the east of Tel-Aviv lies Amman, Jordan.

The two major water bodies that define the western and eastern coastlines of the Sinai Peninsula—the Gulf of Suez and the Gulf of Aqaba—are outlined by lights along their coastlines (image lower right).

The city lights of Paphos, Limassol, Larnaca, and Nicosia are visible on the island of Cyprus (image top).

See the full-size, high-resolution image here (will open in a new window or tab).

Scattered blue-grey clouds cover the Mediterranean Sea and the Sinai, while much of northeastern Africa is cloud-free. A thin yellow-brown band tracing the Earth’s curvature at image top is airglow, a faint band of light emission that results from the interaction of atmospheric atoms and molecules with solar radiation at approximately 100 kilometres (60 miles) altitude.

Astronaut photograph provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment and Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, Johnson Space Centre. Text adapted from information issued by William L. Stefanov, NASA-JSC.

Get SpaceInfo.com.au daily updates by RSS or email! Click the RSS Feed link at the top right-hand corner of this page, and then save the RSS Feed page to your bookmarks. Or, enter your email address (privacy assured) and we’ll send you daily updates. Or follow us on Twitter, @spaceinfo_oz