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Night lights in Europe

This animation is made up of two images of Europe at night showing lights from sources in cities and along roads in 1992 and 2010. Bright areas highly correlate with high population density – such as the densely populated cities like London, Paris and Rome. Coastal areas are also more populated than inland regions, making the outline of Europe clearly visible in these night images.


The images were acquired by the United States’ DMSP satellites.
The DMSP satellites are run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, monitoring the meteorological, oceanographic and solar–terrestrial physics environments for the US Department of Defense. Data from DMSP’s Operational Linescan System can be used to see city lights.

Copyright  NGDC/DMSP/ESA

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