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Two years ago, images from the newly launched NASA-NOAA Suomi NPP satellite wowed the world with a first-ever look at Earth’s lights at night. Today scientists are using Suomi’s sensors to zoom in on urban areas, investigating how we light our cities and what energy use tells us about our behavioral, cultural, and socio-economic patterns. We find out what scientists are learning about the D.C. metro area from our night lightscape, and how this data could be used to aid cities in making decisions — from energy use to emergency response — amid a changing climate.
- Miguel Roman Research Physical Scientist, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
- Eleanor "Kellie" Stokes Harriet Jenkins Fellow, NASA; Ph.D. Candidate, School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Yale University
A View Of The 2012 Derecho—From The Sky
NASA used a Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) sensor onboard the NASA-NOAA Suomi NPP satellite to create images of power outages after the 2012 derecho, a destructive complex of thunderstorms that left more than 1 million area residents without power.
What Do Holiday Lights Look Like From Space?
City lights shine brighter during the holidays in the United States when compared with the rest of the year, as shown using a new analysis of daily data from the NASA-NOAA Suomi NPP satellite.
Watch: Earth At Night
A cloud-free view of the Earth from space as acquired by the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership Satellite (Suomi NPP). It’s a composite of data acquired over nine days in April and 13 days in October 2012. It took 312 satellite orbits and 2.5 terabytes of data to get a clear shot of every parcel of land surface.
Video: NASA Sees Holiday Lights From Space
Thanks to the VIIRS instrument on the Suomi NPP satellite, a joint mission between NASA and NOAA, scientists are presenting a new way of studying satellite data that can illustrate patterns in holiday lights, both during Christmas and the Holy Month of Ramadan.
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