NASA have released images and video of Christmas lights that can be seen from space.
The Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) is a weather satellite that is operated by both NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The satellite can detect light and can therefore see the changes in the Earth’s lighting patterns between Christmas and New Year.
Data collected from Suomi NPP shows that the US starts to get brighter from Black Friday and continues until New Year’s Day. The light intensity grew by 30-50% in the outskirts of cities and grew by 20-20% in the city area.
The satellite is able to detect holiday lights by cancelling out other light forms such as moonlight leaving the dta to analyse the light emitted from earth.
NASA Scientist and member of the Suomi NPP Land Discipline Team, Miguel Roman, said:
It’s a near ubiquitous signal. Despite being ethnically and religiously diverse, we found that the US experiences a holiday increase that is present across most urban communities. These lighting patterns are tracking a national shared tradition.