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NASA releases gorgeous pictures of the Earth as seen at night

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US from space at night
US from space at night

We’ve seen some stunning pictures courtesy of NASA before, but the organization has outdone itself with its latest efforts. The space agency has posted beautiful cloud-free photos and videos of the Earth illuminated by man-made light sources at night. Using new sensors placed onboard the Suomi satellite in coordination with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, composite images were assembled of the Earth over short periods in April and October using the new "day-night band" filter.

According to NASA, the technique is more sensitive to light originating from our planet than previous sensors due to the way it analyzes images. The filter scans photos multiple times in order to detect the amount of light in individual pixels, boosting and dimming different parts of the image as necessary. It’s not the first time NASA has used the day-night band to achieve some great results either the organization also employed it to capture Hurricane Sandy back in October before it hit the east coast of the United States.