Update: NASA-NOAA Satellite Reveals New Views of Earth at Night
On Monday Google announced its implementation of the data on Google +:
The Web giant announced the launch of its own Earth at Night today, which is a global view and animation of the images taken from NASA and NOAA's jointly operated Suomi NPP satellite. These series of images show what the Earth looks like from space once the sun sets.
The interesting bit to me: it seems to be made with Google Earth Builder (note the URL: https://earthbuilder.google.com/10446176163891957399-13737975182519107424-4/mapview/), that product we've not heard much about for many months. Also interesting, the data layer is called City Lights, which of course it isn't as many bush fires were captured, too.
--- original post 12/6/12 ------
NASA made the announcement yesterday about its new "Black Marble" imagery. it's a compilation of many "earth at night" images to form a single worldwide edition. The new data from the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite, a joint NASA/NOAA project.
NASA offers some great visualizations:
An animation was produced from data was acquired over nine days in April 2012 and 13 days in October 2012. The satellite had to make 312 orbits to get a clear shot of every parcel of Earth's land surface and islands. The data was then overlain on an existing Blue Marble imagery of Earth to provide a realistic view of the planet. (30 sec - watch it here.)
A composite of the US from data from April and October give a good sense of the county at night. Below, Courtesy: NASA Earth Observatory/NOAA NGDC.