12 April 2017
The Suomi Satellite
MODIS VIIRS (my mistake- sorry. Terra and Aqua have the MODIS) sensor can see city lights very well when there are no clouds but it’s a polar orbiting satellite so it only passes by one time at night. If you want to grab a shot of the entire planet’s night lights from space, it will take you a while to find a clear night in areas where there are a lot of clouds on average, but the images below are a composite of many different images stitched together to show what our planet looks like at night.
Man’s influence on our planet is clearly visible from orbit. The image of North and South Korea continues to show the dramatic difference in light across the DMZ with almost the only night lights in North Korea being those of Pyongyang. Click on the images below for the full resolution image, which will make a nice desktop background for your laptop. The full-size images are over 4K pixels on each side and that means you can print them out as a decent size image.
More from NASA about the images in this video: