NASA-NOAA new views of Earth at night shows Africa still darkest continent

Nasa new world view at night
Nasa new composite world view at night Credit: NASA Earth Observatory/NOAA NGDC

Night images of the earth gives a new dimension review of Africa’s poverty.

Africa, the second largest continent by land mass is still the least illuminated at night, an unprecedented new look at our planet at night, released by National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA, on Wednesday shows.

A global composite image, constructed using cloud-free night images from a new NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA, satellite, shows the glow of natural and human-built phenomena across the planet in greater detail than ever before.

NASA used a new sensor, the day-night band of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite, VIIRS, sensitive enough to detect the nocturnal glow produced by Earth’s atmosphere and the light from a single ship in the sea to make its observations.

Nasa new world view at night
Nasa new composite world view at night Credit: NASA Earth Observatory/NOAA NGDC

The new, higher resolution composite image of Earth at night was released at a news conference at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco.

NASA said its VIIRS, unlike a camera that captures a picture in one exposure, produces an image by repeatedly scanning a scene and resolving it as millions of individual pixels. Then, the VIIRS reviews the amount of light in each pixel. If it is very bright, a low-gain mode prevents the pixel from over saturating.

If the pixel is very dark, the signal is amplified.

The image shows Europe, America, Middle East, Asia and Australia as the most illuminated part of earth at night. South America and Africa are the least Illuminated.


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