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(NASA)   NASA and NOAA scientists teamed up to create an updated night map of the earth. This is the result   (nasa.gov) divider line 56
    More: Cool, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NASA  
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7637 clicks; posted to Geek » on 06 Dec 2012 at 2:24 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-12-05 09:05:20 PM  
Very cool subby.
 
2012-12-05 09:18:06 PM  
Seems like the heavily lit areas are spreading west to the point that the entire right side of the country is lit up like a Holiday Tree. I wonder if we'll fill in the rest, or if people have stopped moving to America to the point where there's no more reason to go live in the desert.
 
2012-12-05 09:20:16 PM  
Nice, grabbing the TIFFs to look at in Arc.
 
2012-12-05 09:31:14 PM  
That's very cool. I notice that a lot of the decisions are made in the places that have lots of lights.

www.nasa.gov
 
2012-12-05 10:07:48 PM  
So...where is the best place in North Korea to put a telescope?
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-12-05 10:12:33 PM  
Is that 10,000 square miles of gas flares in the Dakotas? (Or Wyoming?)
 
2012-12-05 10:25:04 PM  
Surprised at the brightness of Korea over Japan.

Also amazed at how much the Nile is lit up.
 
2012-12-06 03:16:54 AM  

Snarfangel: So...where is the best place in North Korea to put a telescope?


All of it.
 
2012-12-06 03:23:41 AM  
Why does the US Midwest looks vaguely gridlike?
 
2012-12-06 03:32:35 AM  

StopLurkListen: Why does the US Midwest looks vaguely gridlike?


It's vaguely gridlike.
 
2012-12-06 03:39:44 AM  
Are there that many cities and towns in / along the Himilayas in northern India, or is that light reflecting off of snow? Just seems to be awfully bright for places with power production issues, etc... Anyone have any ideas?
 
2012-12-06 03:51:04 AM  
I have the old Earth at night as my desktop at work. I'd love to see a side by side comparison of the two. Some areas seem brighter, but there also some areas that seem to have gotten darker.
 
2012-12-06 04:10:50 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: StopLurkListen: Why does the US Midwest looks vaguely gridlike?

It's vaguely gridlike.


United States of Tautology.
 
2012-12-06 04:19:31 AM  

Feral_and_Preposterous: Are there that many cities and towns in / along the Himilayas in northern India, or is that light reflecting off of snow? Just seems to be awfully bright for places with power production issues, etc... Anyone have any ideas?


Check with a map of India's cities, it lines up pretty well.

There are lights in other places where there aren't cities (Alaska's North Slope,Gulf of Mexico south of Louisiana, central Russia) where the lights are from gas production instead of urbanization.
 
2012-12-06 04:25:32 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: StopLurkListen: Why does the US Midwest looks vaguely gridlike?

It's vaguely gridlike.


Most likely due to the highway system, towns tend to pop up and grow faster if they are on a major road.

It would be nice to get some data about brightness, or at least see it in false color like radar going from black>blue>red>white.
 
2012-12-06 04:34:13 AM  

StopLurkListen: Why does the US Midwest looks vaguely gridlike?


Because when they laid the Interstate Highway system, it was easier and more logical to lay the roads going east/west and north/south at regular intervals, taking slight zigs and zags for the towns that were there. Those towns grew (and are the vertices of the grid lines) and small towns started forming along the roads themselves (like towns do on rivers, and for similar reasons), lighting those up as well.

At the time the Eastern side of the country was fairly well populated, so it made more sense to run the freeways directly from town to town. That's why it's not gridlike there.

Or, as another put it more succinctly, it looks that way because it is that way :-)
 
2012-12-06 04:41:18 AM  
Images like this always remind me of this quote:

"Home was BAMA, the Sprawl, the Boston-Atlanta Metropolitan Axis. Program a map to display frequency data exchange, every thousand megabytes a single pixel on a very large screen. Manhattan and Atlanta burn solid white. Then they start to pulse, the rate of traffic threatening to overload your simulation. Your map is about to go nova. Cool it down. Up your scale. Each pixel a million megabytes. At a hundred million megabytes per second, you begin to make out certain blocks in midtown Manhattan, outlines of hundred-year-old parks ringing the old core of Atlanta." (William Gibson, "Neuromancer", 1984, page 57).
 
2012-12-06 07:08:50 AM  
Now I know why they call Africa "The Dark Continent".
 
2012-12-06 07:17:35 AM  
Isn't anyone concerned about light pollution?
 
2012-12-06 07:27:13 AM  

Lt_Ryan: AverageAmericanGuy: StopLurkListen: Why does the US Midwest looks vaguely gridlike?

It's vaguely gridlike.

Most likely due to the highway system, towns tend to pop up and grow faster if they are on a major road.


It goes further back than that: the Midwest was largely laid out by the railroads, and as the land was completely flat, they simply put a station (basis for a town) every couple hundred miles or so. They also sold the land to farmers, dictating farm size, and therefore counties. Look at a map of the US including county boundaries, and you'll see that they're generally close to square in the center of the country.
 
2012-12-06 07:32:21 AM  

Pick: Now I know why they call Africa "The Dark Continent".


Like Brazil or or the center of the US, central Africa is largely uninhabitable. It's all either desert, veldt or jungle.

Happy Hours: Isn't anyone concerned about light pollution?


I am, and so are Europeans, who are working to do something about it.
 
2012-12-06 07:42:32 AM  
Just in time for Finlands independence day. Suomi aka Finland satellite sends us these greetings.

As a Finn, I'd like to say well played and thank you very much.
 
2012-12-06 08:00:34 AM  

FlameDuck: Just in time for Finlands independence day. Suomi aka Finland satellite sends us these greetings.

As a Finn, I'd like to say well played and thank you very much.


Ahh, yes. Finland. A country whose only claim to fame is taking the gold medal in Full Contact Team Biathlon at the 1940 Winter Games.
 
Al! [TotalFark]
2012-12-06 08:11:47 AM  

Dwight_Yeast: Like Brazil or or the center of the US, central Africa is largely uninhabitable. It's all either desert, veldt or jungle.


Veld is uninhabitable? Plenty of arable land, plenty of rain and plenty of game makes a place uninhabitable? Just because people don't live there doesn't mean they can't.
 
2012-12-06 08:33:49 AM  

Happy Hours: Isn't anyone concerned about light pollution?


Some of us are. It seems to be a real uphill battle, at least until you get people out of the city and give them a chance to see what they're missing.

/moved from city to countryside last month
//I can see the friggin milky way in my backyard now
 
2012-12-06 09:05:39 AM  
If I was an alien species watching the planet, I know exactly what area I'd expect to be the more advanced part.
 
2012-12-06 09:06:34 AM  

dittybopper: FlameDuck: Just in time for Finlands independence day. Suomi aka Finland satellite sends us these greetings.

As a Finn, I'd like to say well played and thank you very much.

Ahh, yes. Finland. A country whose only claim to fame is taking the gold medal in Full Contact Team Biathlon at the 1940 Winter Games.


I disagree with you. Finland is the country where I want to be. Pony trekking or camping, or just watching TV .You're so near to Russia, so far from Japan. Quite a long way from Cairo, lots of miles from Vietnam.
 
2012-12-06 09:39:38 AM  
what the heck is going on in western Australia? Isn't that all desert?
 
2012-12-06 09:52:13 AM  
NASA needs some goddamn better servers.
 
2012-12-06 09:59:16 AM  
i.imgur.com

Obvious East Coast bias.
 
2012-12-06 10:00:40 AM  

StopLurkListen: Why does the US Midwest looks vaguely gridlike?


Do you remember that scene in Cars where the newer Interstate system versus the old Route 66 is compared?

That's why.
 
2012-12-06 10:01:10 AM  
We're linking directly to NASA instead of gawker's inane article about it? What, did gawker's check bounce?
 
2012-12-06 10:27:29 AM  

luisluis: what the heck is going on in western Australia? Isn't that all desert?


I was wondering the same thing. Doesn't seem right.
 
2012-12-06 10:49:41 AM  

Dwight_Yeast: It goes further back than that: the Midwest was largely laid out by the railroads, and as the land was completely flat, they simply put a station (basis for a town) every couple hundred miles or so. They also sold the land to farmers, dictating farm size, and therefore counties. Look at a map of the US including county boundaries, and you'll see that they're generally close to square in the center of the country.


And in the Eastern US, the road system was designed by cattle.
 
2012-12-06 10:54:22 AM  

RussianPooper: luisluis: what the heck is going on in western Australia? Isn't that all desert?

I was wondering the same thing. Doesn't seem right.


Me too. I chalked it up to my general ignorance of Australian population patterns, and what I thought they were, so I studied it out:

keep3.sjfc.edu

So yeah, WTF is going on there? Secret government programs?
 
2012-12-06 11:05:05 AM  

impaler: RussianPooper: luisluis: what the heck is going on in western Australia? Isn't that all desert?

I was wondering the same thing. Doesn't seem right.

Me too. I chalked it up to my general ignorance of Australian population patterns, and what I thought they were, so I studied it out:

[keep3.sjfc.edu image 600x573]

So yeah, WTF is going on there? Secret government programs?


I took a look in Google Earth. Seems there is a lot of mining in that general area.
 
2012-12-06 11:35:11 AM  
Take that, Wall of China!.
 
2012-12-06 12:07:03 PM  
Mines and wildfires, look at Alberta and the Dakotas, the brightest spots are oil and gas production areas.
 
2012-12-06 12:33:37 PM  

jaylectricity: Seems like the heavily lit areas are spreading west to the point that the entire right side of the country is lit up like a Holiday Tree. I wonder if we'll fill in the rest, or if people have stopped moving to America to the point where there's no more reason to go live in the desert.


9/10, very subtle.
 
2012-12-06 12:58:05 PM  
All those lights in the northwest corner of North Dakota are from oil exploration, baby. Wells and drilling rigs and support facilities of every kind. And if the international price of oil drops below $68 per barrel, you'll be able to watch all those lights go out virtually overnight.
 
2012-12-06 12:59:22 PM  

impaler: RussianPooper: luisluis: what the heck is going on in western Australia? Isn't that all desert?

I was wondering the same thing. Doesn't seem right.

Me too. I chalked it up to my general ignorance of Australian population patterns, and what I thought they were, so I studied it out:

[keep3.sjfc.edu image 600x573]

So yeah, WTF is going on there? Secret government programs?


I figured it was cause the inner part of Australia was a hell hole and filled with every poisonous creature known to man... and the aborigines lived there
 
2012-12-06 01:07:50 PM  
Wow, very cool, subby and surprisingly detailed. On the big map, freighters are pretty obvious and I can even see the sodium lights of a couple of crab boats working pots out by the jetty near here. Impressive and kind of disturbing how obvious human activities down to an individual can be...from space.
 
2012-12-06 01:42:16 PM  

dittybopper: Seems there is a lot of mining in that general area.


KRSESQ: All those lights in the northwest corner of North Dakota are from oil exploration, baby. Wells and drilling rigs and support facilities of every kind. And if the international price of oil drops below $68 per barrel, you'll be able to watch all those lights go out virtually overnight.


There's also a lot of lights in the Gulf of Mexico.

Apparently mining/drilling put off a lot of light.
 
2012-12-06 01:56:58 PM  
Excellent! the updated `petri dish' scan.

Would like to see `scans' of estimates at 1000 yr. intervals (start at 5kybp). Very little evidence of growth of human population for most of the scans - Past 150 yr.?).

Not quite a `Stand on Zanzibar' situation, yet.

/would like to see this coupled with SRTM data sets
 
2012-12-06 01:58:15 PM  

impaler: dittybopper: Seems there is a lot of mining in that general area.

KRSESQ: All those lights in the northwest corner of North Dakota are from oil exploration, baby. Wells and drilling rigs and support facilities of every kind. And if the international price of oil drops below $68 per barrel, you'll be able to watch all those lights go out virtually overnight.

There's also a lot of lights in the Gulf of Mexico.

Apparently mining/drilling put off a lot of light.


Bright enough that the lights off oil rigs refract through the upper atmosphere and cause UFO sightings hundreds of miles away, and danged if that doesn't blow people's minds, even though the math clearly checks out.
 
2012-12-06 02:07:49 PM  

Yotto: StopLurkListen: Why does the US Midwest looks vaguely gridlike?

Because when they laid the Interstate Highway system, it was easier and more logical to lay the roads going east/west and north/south at regular intervals, taking slight zigs and zags for the towns that were there. Those towns grew (and are the vertices of the grid lines) and small towns started forming along the roads themselves (like towns do on rivers, and for similar reasons), lighting those up as well.

At the time the Eastern side of the country was fairly well populated, so it made more sense to run the freeways directly from town to town. That's why it's not gridlike there.

Or, as another put it more succinctly, it looks that way because it is that way :-)


This -- it essentially comes from the land surveying system in use in the central US (PLSS; keywoards: township, range, section). This is partly attributable to the existing population and transportation systems in the old areas of the eastern US that make such grid-like systems more difficult, and it's partly because the relatively simple topopgraphy of the central US makes it easy to setup a grid system for land surveying. In areas of more complex terrain, such as in mountaineous areas and areas with many rivers and lakes, it's typically more common to see a "metes and bounds" system that defines boundaries on natural features.

For those who are interested, please refer to the following links:

Public Land Survey System (NationalAtlas.gov)
PLSS (Wikipedia)

Metes and Bounds
 
2012-12-06 02:10:06 PM  

KRSESQ: All those lights in the northwest corner of North Dakota are from oil exploration, baby. Wells and drilling rigs and support facilities of every kind. And if the international price of oil drops below $68 per barrel, you'll be able to watch all those lights go out virtually overnight.


Do you think that's what the arc of lights south of Austin-San Antonio is? From my recollection, that area is pretty empty.
 
2012-12-06 02:10:24 PM  
It does bring up this; a lot of the light that you see from space is wasted light. We are spending our resources and money lighting up the night sky for want of a few cheap shades on our lights. Next time you go out and night and see a bright streetlight a couple miles away think about that, why do the taxpayers have to pay for that light that is coming directly to you from the light and doing no good miles away? Why don't they put a reflector on that light and get some more light on the ground where they want it? You could have less bright lights or fewer of them and save some money while getting the same amount of light on the ground. Having proper lighting also makes it easier to see what's under the light too. The idiots that put a big giant omnidirectional vapor light on the outside of their building for "security" aren't doing themselves any good; someone could stand right there and be hidden in the glare of the light. Put a shade on it then everyone can see who is there. Not shining your lights up into space saves you money and gets you more light on the ground where you want it, and these days the additional initial cost is nil since most manufactures offer a cut off lighting solution at the same cost.
 
2012-12-06 02:13:11 PM  

jaylectricity: Seems like the heavily lit areas are spreading west to the point that the entire right side of the country is lit up like a Holiday Tree. I wonder if we'll fill in the rest, or if people have stopped moving to America to the point where there's no more reason to go live in the desert.


Since much of this area is public land, there is little threat of that ever happening. That is, unless the Federal Government becomes desperate enough as to start selling this land to help the debt problem.
 
2012-12-06 02:14:23 PM  

impaler: dittybopper: Seems there is a lot of mining in that general area.

KRSESQ: All those lights in the northwest corner of North Dakota are from oil exploration, baby. Wells and drilling rigs and support facilities of every kind. And if the international price of oil drops below $68 per barrel, you'll be able to watch all those lights go out virtually overnight.

There's also a lot of lights in the Gulf of Mexico.

Apparently mining/drilling put off a lot of light.


They typically work 24/7 so they will be lit up very well at night just for saftey reasons.
 
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