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Cities at Night, an Orbital Tour Around the World



I was indulging my fascination with Astronomy this afternoon when I stumbled upon this cool little video. The folks of Expedition 6 on the International Space Station (ISS) were taking digital pictures of the Earth at night, however, their pictures came out blurry because of the movement between the Earth and the space station. Jury rigging a system called a "Barn Door Tracker" they were able to take their pictures as the tracker moved along with the Earth canceling the blurring effect and providing more detail.

The pictures they took are spectacular to look at as they easily resemble glowing patches of moss, lichen, webs, or even germs. Some look like ordered boxes of lights, databases, or grids. You might be able to recognize the city by the way the lights are positioned and how they conform to the geography of the region or place it is in. Almost every major city from the around the World had its picture taken from Hong Kong, Montreal, and Tokyo and so on. One interesting detail you can compare is between the wealth of nations and their respective capitals and cities.

Further information about this project and an article head over here: Cities at Night - The View from Space.

YouTube - [Link]

The WorldWide Telescope has an option to view the Earth at night.
Unfortunately, they only have low resolution images. Hopefully that will be updated though, if WWT is [will be] everything they say it is.
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I recognize that first city as Chicago... unless there is another city in the same position relative to a body of water, in which case I apologize for my ethnocentrism!
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Astronaut Don Pettit is a cool, nerdy guy. See his other videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgC-ocnTTto
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dimLdczXSE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dn_hdADpFlA

He's played around a lot more with water bubbles in microgravity, but I can't find those videos on youtube.
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Awesome indeed.
Let's enjoy this. We'll not be able to when oil reaches $300 a barrel...

I wonder what brand of power tools they're using up there (or maybe they're unique)
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That was the WORST narration I have ever heard.
Would've been so much better with subtitles for the names of the cities, so that we could enjoy the beauties in with music, and not have the experience ruined by the depressed suicidal dude's voice.
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Regardless of the quality of narration, I feel that it is very fascinating. I agree with the person who said that Human cities, in the way that they expand and spread, resemble micro-organisms or fungus. Fascinating.
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