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PHOTOS: NASA Is Watching You From Space; Well…They’re Watching Your Christmas Lights

17 Dec 2014, 4:36 pm

(Photo credit: NASA Goddard | Flickr)

To the average eye, these just look like city lights, but NASA is taking looking at Christmas lights to another level: They’re watching on your luminous decorations from space. We’re not sure if they’re secretly judging you.

Using the NOAA/NASA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) satellite, NASA scientists were able to tell where cities were more luminous due to holiday lights.

“Around many major U.S. cities, nighttime lights shine 20 to 50 percent brighter during Christmas and New Year’s when compared to light output during the rest of the year, as seen in the satellite data. In some Middle Eastern cities, nighttime lights shine more than 50 percent brighter during Ramadan, compared to the rest of the year,” NASA said in a press release.

The brightening of the lights was most prevalent in the suburbs of many major cities, where luminosity increased 30 to 50 percent.

To make use the data was correct, scientists only analyzed lights from snow free cities. Snow is highly reflective and could have skewed the data.

“They focused on the U.S. West Coast from San Francisco and Los Angeles, and cities south of a rough imaginary line from St. Louis to Washington, D.C. The team also examined lighting patterns across 30 major towns in Puerto Rico, known for its vibrant nocturnal celebrations and for having one of the longest Christmas holiday periods,” NASA said of the scientists.

Check out some of the cool images below:






puerto rico



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