NATIONAL SNOW AND ICE DATA CENTER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NATIONAL SNOW AND ICE DATA CENTER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
The night-time city lights of the USA as seen from orbit. The image is a mosaic of photos compiled from visual data gathered by several passes of the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) spacecraft as it orbited 825 kilometres above the Earth. The cloud and land detail normally present in night-time DMSP photos were filtered out to enhance the light clusters. Thus the lights provide an accurate indicator for population density from region to region. The DMSP satellite is used to provide accurate weather analyses and forecasts for all branches of the US Military, although it is also availible for civilian use.
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