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Video: Christmas Lights Literally Brighten Up the Earth

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 19th December 2014

Some scientists from NASA have be measuring the changes in light emitted from the earth over the festive period and also other highly celebrated holiday festivals such as Ramadan. They have seen an increase in brightness up to 100% in some areas. What's interesting is that they are actually able to pinpoint down to town and city level how each communities lighting patterns differ. For instance for those celebrating Christmas in the USA they can see a shift from light in the cities to rural areas as people travel out of urban areas for the holidays. However in general they have found that those celebrating Ramadan tend to stay put and the brightness of towns and cities in the middle east tends to increase during the holiday period. Check out the full video below:


The images were taken by the Suomi NPP satellite which carries an instrument called the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) which can observe the dark side of the planet - and detect the glow of lights in cities and towns.