The Defense Meteorological Satellite Program takes pictures of the earth from space and usually I don’t get to see them. Over the past few evenings – clear evenings – as they flew over the Northeastern United States they were taking visible light images (it maybe their norm… they don’t share with me), literally looking at the nighttime sign of civilization most noticable from space – electric light.
At the TV station, we mostly use infrared satellite images because they show weather patterns even when it’s dark. And we use geosynchronus satellites, whose orbital position seems to remain motionless in relationship to the Earth.
The DMSP photos here are from a low Earth polar orbit satellite sensing visible light, a totally different animal.
With clear skies Wednesday and Thursday, the setup was right for an incredible comparison of before and after during the Northeast Blackout.