NASA Shares Incredible Photo Of America Lighting Up Space

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 16 Dec 2019 16:58
NASA Shares Incredible Photo Of America Lighting Up SpaceNASA

NASA has released remarkable photographs that display what both North and South America look like at night from space. 

The space agency has created a 200 page ebook, called Earth At Night, which includes more than 150 images of our planet in darkness, as captured from space by Earth-observing satellites and astronauts on the International Space Station over the past 25 years.


The images reveal how human activity and natural phenomena light up the darkness around the world, depicting the intricate structure of cities, wildfires and volcanoes raging, auroras dancing across the polar skies, moonlight reflecting off snow and deserts, and other dramatic earthly scenes – pretty cool, right?

NASA Shares Incredible Photo Of America Lighting Up SpaceNASA

The image of  the Americas was apparently taken in 2012 by NASA’s Suomi NPP satellite.

Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, said:


‘Earth at Night’ explores the brilliance of our planet when it is in darkness. The book is a compilation of stories depicting the interactions between science and wonder. I am pleased to share this visually stunning and captivating exploration of our home planet.

These aren’t the first amazing pictures NASA has captured in recent times. Just last month, the American space agency released pictures of reported sound waves apparently from a ‘mystery aircraft’ hurtling across Earth.

NASA Cameras Capture Soundwaves From 'Mystery Spacecraft’ Hurtling Across EarthNASA/thirdphaseofmoon/YouTube

The photos were taken above the Atlantic ocean and, from space, show a particularly strange cloud formation that looks uncannily like it may have been created by some unidentified flying object, or even a ‘secret sonic weapon’.

The images were spotted on the NASA website by Blake and Brett Cousins, who regularly post space-related content on their YouTube channel thirdphaseofmoon. The photos were apparently captured last month, as the ISS was around 226 nautical miles above the Earth.

And while remarkable photos of the Earth look both lovely and intriguing, don’t forget that NASA predicts a ‘city-killing asteroid‘ is due to hit the earth in May, 2022.


They first discovered the asteroid back in 2009. Over the past decade, the space agency’s automated asteroid watching system – known as Sentry – has been tasked with keeping an eye on it.

It’s been designated as a ‘near-Earth object’ (NEO), meaning it’s in the Sun’s orbit and presents a ‘threat’ to our planet.

A NASA spokesperson explained: 

Some asteroids and comets follow orbital paths that take them much closer to the Sun and therefore Earth than usual. If a comet’s or asteroid’s approach brings it to within 1.3 astronomical units of the Sun, we call it a near-Earth object.


So, we might die in the year 2022, or be destroyed by a mystery ‘secret sonic weapon’, but at least the earth at night looks pretty from space…

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Science, Asteroid, Earth, International Space Station, NASA, Space


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