Photo Friday: Great Lakes at night

This recent image of the Great Lakes region at night is taken by a satellite with a low-light sensor that distinguishes night lights with much better spatial resolution and resolution of lighting levels than before. It was launched in October 2011 by NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Department of Defense. More here. 

 

 

 

  • Harold

    Kathleen, Thanks for bringing up the devasting impacts that nighttime lights have upon migratory birds. Most people are ignorant to the fact that lights–especially in high-rise buildings and on towers–directly result in hundreds of millions of bird deaths each year. In addition to F.L.A.P., Detroit Audubon and others run a similar program called Safe Passage Great Lakes. It’s long past time for action to be taken to reduce unnecessary lights in tall buildings, to shield those that are required, and to change the color and timing (flashing, not continuous) of lights used on towers. We need to cut down on our use of nighttime lighting altogether–saving energy, saving money, and cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Kathleen

    What a blight of light. I grew up on the southern tip of Lake Michigan in Indiana when we could sit out on a summer night and look for satellites–and it was a huge big deal to see one back then in the Sputnik era. I agree with Harold on the necessity of a dark-sky policy–not just for us, but for the migratory birds who
    lose their way and die by the millions thanks to this blight. See Fatal Light Awareness Program
    http://www.flap.org/who-we-are.php

  • Anonymous

    Early to bed, early to rise – and turn off the lights before you go to bed!

  • Harold

    Whenever I see a nighttime satellite photo like this it just makes me sad. Sad to know that most city kids will never see a star-filled sky and be awestruck by the wonders of the universe. We need a dark-sky policy to cut down on nighttime illumination, and to deflect downward those lights that people use.