Night lights

I wrote a little bit about Suomi when there was a massive power outage. A recent Astronomy Picture of the Day was a composite of cloud-free nighttime images from this polar-orbiting satellite. (click to embiggen)
earth at night
One of the more detailed photographs shows the activity in North Dakota, as they drill into the Bakken shale. (Ready to head up there, Vmax?)
bakken_vir_2012317
I thought this one was very pretty. The ice shelf in Queen Maud Land in Antarctica is illuminated only by the aurora, yet the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on Suomi can still take pics with that dim light from 512 miles up.
antarctic_vir_2012197
Neat.

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