Through its latest release, NASA just offered a stunning new look at the nighttime Earth. As it did so, the aerospace administration presented the first full planet view in about 5 years. This also accounts for the as yet most detailed look at Earth as its outer-space images have evolved from a grainy photo to the “blue marble” and now the “Black” one.
According to media reports, this new look featuring the nighttime Earth is being called the “Black Marble”. In fact, this is actually a “composite” picture. It is made up from various images of the “least cloudy night views” captured all across Earth.
These were captured with help from the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite. This spacecraft is operated and co-owned by NASA and NOAA. As it is, the two agencies are looking to improve its performance. They hope to one day be able to capture even the dimmest nighttime spotlights.
NASA’s Nighttime Earth Images Are Both Stunning And Useful
NASA released details about its night time Earth imagery plans through a press release. In it, the space agency stated that it would try to offer regular updates of such images. It will try to do so by offering media like this new picture on a monthly or even daily basis. NASA hopes to achieve such a feat sometime “soon”.
Images of the night-time Earth could serve a double purpose. Besides their visually stunning effect, they could also prove to be quite scientifically useful. Such photos could start being used to determine the expense of ‘light pollution”.
The latest night images reveal that over 80 percent of the planet is already affected by this issue. More than 90 percent of the United States is covered by light-polluted skies. These can cover various elements of the sky, even the Milky Way. This ‘pollution’ type can also have an effect on animals as well as they use stars when navigating their surroundings.
Image Source: Wikimedia