The Earth as a black marble (VIDEO)

The Earth as a "black marble": NASA scientists have published the night views of the planet from space

NASA astronomers presented a new view of the Earth: with the help of the recently launched they were able to show with unprecedented clarity, it looks like a planet in the dark. In addition to "glow" Super Sensitive equipment captured the city lights and ships that sail the river in the night, torches and oil and gas fields, noted on the site NASA.

Satellite Suomi NPP, equipped with a super-sensitive radiometer VIIRS, was launched last year. To make the frame of each plot of land and of all the islands, the satellite took circumnavigate the Earth 312 times. Pictures taken in cloudless weather in April and October 2012, combined with photos of the 40-year-old — then the command Apollo 17 made famous photographs of the Earth, calling them "blue marble", said Reuters. By analogy, the current staff the night of the planet called "black marble."

Satellite pictures of the Earth for about 40 years (including for the purpose of forecasting the weather). However, the Suomi NPP — the first device, which is designed to photograph it at night. "For all those reasons that we need to observe the Earth day, we need to watch it at night," — said Officer Steve Miller, who works with the satellite Suomi NPP. "Unlike humans, the Earth never sleeps" — added Miller.

A quick glance at the night planet noticeable that it glows extremely patchy, "In some places the glowing city like a lonely star in the night sky, in others — a dense cluster of galaxies", — said NASA.

Surprisingly, the highlighted navigable rivers — for example, against the background of very different Nile. Also at night from space shows that humanity is still limited natural landscapes, said NASA, showing a top view of the Himalayas. In addition, the "black marble" reflected in some way, and political problems of the modern world: for example, the images stark contrast North and South Korea, and the Middle East are allocated clusters of lights — torches on oil and gas development, the authors explain.

The device is tested for meteorological purposes: Suomi NPP scientists presented a plan view of Hurricane Sandy struck the east coast of the United States on October 29. The camera also captures the satellite brunt of the disaster, because in the early days of the storm, millions of people were left without electricity, and lights at night has become much smaller.

To obtain such an unprecedented definition pictures at night, satellite equipment does not behave like a regular camera. Suomi NPP camera photographed panorama of small areas, and then the pixels are combined into an overall picture. Each piece is treated separately — if the frame is too dark or too light, it has to finish up to the required quality. Furthermore, the satellite has three chambers simultaneously to be able to choose the best shot.

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