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Satellite Image - The Nile Illuminated at Night

acquired October 28, 2010download large image (606 KB, JPEG, 1440x960) One of the fascinating aspects of viewing Earth at night is how well the lights show the distribution of people. In this view of Egypt, we see a population almost completely concentrated along the Nile Valley, just a small percentage of the country’s land area.
The Nile River and its delta look like a brilliant, long-stemmed flower in this astronaut photograph of the southeastern Mediterranean Sea, as seen from the International Space Station. The Cairo metropolitan area forms a particularly bright base of the flower. The smaller cities and towns within the Nile Delta tend to be hard to see amidst the dense agricultural vegetation during the day. However, these settled areas and the connecting roads between them become clearly visible at night. Likewise, urbanized regions and infrastructure along the Nile River becomes apparent (see also The Great Bend of Nile, Day & Night.)
Another brightly lit region is vis…

2014 - Satellite Imagery - Arabian Ramadan and Eid at Night

acquired 2012 - 2014download large image (1 MB, JPEG, 3099x3323) In December 2014, scientists using a NASA-NOAA satellite announced that they had detected significant changes in the amount and distribution of nighttime lighting during holiday seasons in the Middle East and North America. For instance, nighttime lights in some Middle East cities were 50 to 100 percent brighter during the holy month of Ramadan.


The maps on this page show changes in lighting intensity and location on the Arabian Peninsula and in the countries along the eastern Mediterranean coast. They are based on data from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite. The maps compare the night light signals from the months of Ramadan in 2012–2014 (parts of July and August in these years) to the average light output for the rest of 2012 to 2014.


Green shading marks areas where light usage increased during the holy days; yellow marks areas with little change; and red marks areas whe…