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The Glow From Holiday Lights Can Be Seen From Space!

December 22, 2015 11:59 am

Holiday lights present the perfect backdrop for a great family and seasonal photos, but what you might not know is that holiday lights around the world add a glow that’s visible from space. By examining the daily data from the NOAA/NASA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) satellite, NASA scientists can see that patterns of nighttime light intensity increase during the holidays. These holidays extend beyond Christmas and New Year’s in the United States to include the holy month of Ramadan in the Middle East.

Brightening Global cities

In the outskirts of cities, and in the suburbs of the U.S. during December, nighttime lights shine 30-50% brighter than the rest of the year. In major cities of the U.S., nighttime light is 20-50% brighter during Christmas and the New Year. During Ramadan in some Middle Eastern cities, the nighttime light shines over 50% brighter than the rest of the year. All of this increased nighttime brightness is visible via satellite and shows that during certain times of the year, different parts of the world have an undeniable holiday glow.

Enjoying the glow

While viewing satellite images give a new perspective on the holiday glow, you don’t have to orbit the Earth to be able to see the beauty of the lights. Whether you use a lighted tree as a background for holiday pictures, drive around the neighborhood admiring the lights or stroll the city streets amid the festive glow, holiday lights have a way of brightening the human spirit around the world.

Featured image by Angelo Amboldi

Ljubljana Slovenia by Maja & Marko

Just another “Ljubljana by night” shot by Maja & Marko

Christmas Lights by Robert Young

Gdansk, Pomeranian, Poland Christmas Lights by Robert Young

Christmas at Rathaus in Veinna by Jiahui Huang

Christmas at Rathaus in Vienna by Jiahui Huang

Berlin at Night by GothPhil

Berlin at Night by GothPhil

 

Capitol Hill Christmas Tree by SCBCaptures

Capitol Hill Christmas Tree by SCBCaptures

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