NASA- NOAA Satellite Reveals New Views of Earth at Night. This new global view and animation of Earth's city lights is a composite assembled from data acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite. The data was acquired over nine days in April 2.
October 2. 01. 2. It took 3. 12 orbits to get a clear shot of every parcel of Earth's land surface and islands. This new data was then mapped over existing Blue Marble imagery of Earth to provide a realistic view of the planet. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory/NOAA NGDC. 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. The image was made possible by the satellite's .
With a new sensor aboard the NASA- NOAA Suomi National Polar- orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite launched last year, scientists now can observe Earth's atmosphere and surface during nighttime hours. The new sensor, the day- night band of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), is sensitive enough to detect the nocturnal glow produced by Earth's atmosphere and the light from a single ship in the sea. Satellites in the U. S. Defense Meteorological Satellite Program have been making observations with low- light sensors for 4. But the VIIRS day- night band can better detect and resolve Earth's night lights. 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.
This and other VIIRS day- night band images are providing researchers with valuable data for a wide variety of previously unseen or poorly seen events. Night images showed the widespread power outages that left millions in darkness in the wake of the storm. With its night view, VIIRS is able to detect a more complete view of storms and other weather conditions, such as fog, that are difficult to discern with infrared, or thermal, sensors.
Night is also when many types of clouds begin to form. Then, the day- night band reviews the amount of light in each pixel. If it is very bright, a low- gain mode prevents the pixel from oversaturating. If the pixel is very dark, the signal is amplified.
The instrument can capture images on nights with or without moonlight, producing crisp views of Earth's atmosphere, land and ocean surfaces. And with the VIIRS day- night band helping scientists to tease out information from human and natural sources of nighttime light.
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