Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

July 28, 1999
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download 
 the highest resolution version available.

Asia at Night
Credit & Copyright: DMSP Digital Archive, NGDC, NOAA

Explanation: This is what Asia looks like at night! Can you find your favorite Asian city? Although not all of Asia is shown, city lights might make this task possible. The above picture is actually a composite of over 200 images made by satellites orbiting the Earth. Scans were made by the USAF Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) Operational Linescan System. The DMSP satellites continue to help in the understanding and prediction of weather phenomena as well as provide key information about population patterns, city light levels, and even rural forest fires.

Tomorrow's picture: Hydrogen Blobs

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.