This picture presents the world as one harmonious whole. This might give those that see it without any previous context the illusion that the world is at peace and there is no conflict only dreams as the world sleeps during the night.
Click on the picture to get a detailed image. Also check out some of the trivia below.
Click Picture to enlarge.
Earth at Night
Credit: C. Mayhew & R. Simmon (NASA/GSFC), NOAA/ NGDC, DMSP Digital Archive
Can you find your town?
Some things to notice about the earth at night:
1. Check out the development of Israel compared to the rest of the Arab countries.
2. Moving East, most striking is the difference between North and South Korea. Truly unique! Note the density of Japan.
3. Look how far upstream the Nile River stays brightly lit (and it's contrast to the area around it.) After the Nile, the lights don't come on again until Johannesburg.
4. You can see the train lines in Siberian Russia because the cities are all built on the rail lines -- the Trans-Siberian Rail Route.
5. There still is NO development at the mouth of the Amazon (unlike the Nile and other major rivers.)
6. You could call South America, Africa, and Australia "dark continents" because almost all of their development is on their coasts. Look at the Australian Outback.
7. Yugoslavia is one of the only dark spots in all of Europe. In east Europe, there is a high population concentration along the Mediterranean Coast. It's easy to spot London, Paris, Stockholm and Rome and Naples.
8. The "spine" of Italy is completely black.
9. In the Midwest US (everything north of Texas) the city lights form a nice "grid" of dots all lined up. This grid pattern was established as a result of the General Land Survey, initiated following the Louisiana Purchase to map the newly acquired lands west of the Mississippi. The GLS is based on a large scale grid of Principal Meridians (north - south) and Base Lines (east - west). These grids were then subdivided into 36 square mile Townships (6 miles square, containing 36 sections of one square mile or 640 acres each). Each Township had a designated school section. Roads tended to be located on the boundaries between sections, thus forming a grid one mile by one mile. Major roads, and subsequently railroads, tended to be located on Township lines, forming a larger grid. This tended to impose a distance of about 6 miles between towns, which has endured to this day. Many Townships saw the development of towns (and subsequently, cities), often at intersections of major roads along township boundaries.
10.Note that Canada's population is almost exclusively along the U.S. border.