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Showing posts with label Earth at Night. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Earth at Night. Show all posts

Watch the Northern Lights in Stunning 4K High Resolution Video

Come along with us on a virtual experience, Aurora Chasing in 4K Ultra High Def!

Despite being under the weather (in all senses, it was well below zero and we were quite sick with the flu), Marketa, Angus and I ventured out to capture the Northern Lights with our newest tool, the Atomos Shogun 4K external recorder. We combined this with a Sony a7S and a DJI Ronin for a look at what's it like to "Chase the Lights."




The Atomos did great and while the Ronin usually does a good job it seemed quite jittery on this night. I'm in contact with support and hope to find a resolution to this but it's done that the last few times I've taken it out in temps colder than 10ºF. Keep in mind it is very windy, I'm stumbling around in knee deep snow and it's about 0ºF so considering, it still held up rather well. This is a sample of how the Ronin should and usually does behave. http://youtu.be/1bb5qGmtG_M As of 1/14/15 I'm still waiting to hear back from DJI.

It seems we have a few things to work out both with the Ronin and the Shogun but are very excited for this amazing trio once we get things rolling smoothly.

If you'd like to be out there having your portraits taken in front of these magnificent Northern Lights, join us for a night under the Aurora. http://www.ronnmurrayphoto.com/Northe... This video intended to show what's its like to actually be out beneath these amazing Auroras we witness almost nightly. Please explore this channel, and our website for the more polished videos.





Gear list
Sony a7S
Rokinon 24mm f/1.4
DJI Ronin Gimbal Stabilizer
Atomos Shogun 4K Monitor and Recorder

Video filmed in the Murphy Dome area near Fairbanks, Alaska on Friday night, January 2nd in the late night and early morning hours.

Music Licensed at MusicBed.com
Song: "A Closing Statement" by Dexter Britain


London at Night


London is a city that has seen considerable change in the last 20 years. Of course, many of the capital’s most notable buildings such as St. Paul’s and the Palace of Westminster have been around for centuries, but two decades ago there was no London Eye (completed in 2000), no Gherkin (completed in 2003) and no Shard (completed in 2012)… not even a Millennium Dome, of course.

A great time to see the city’s changing skyline is at night so, armed with my DSLR and some warm clothing I headed down to London to spend a few days unearthing some of London’s most iconic views after dark. But of course I wanted to enjoy some of the best bars and restaurants that London offers while I was there, so I connected my American Express card to my TripAdvisor account and sought out recommendations through its network of exclusive ‘Amex Traveller’ reviews, which you can access along with some great ‘top 10’ content for major world cities and a range of offers.

Cheval Three Quays

Whilst on assignment, I stayed at a beautifully appointed two bedroom serviced corner apartment at Cheval Three Quays. This has to be one of the best views from any accommodation in London. Below to my left, I had the Tower of London and to my right a view of the Shard and, to the far right in the distance, I could see the top of the London Eye. But straight ahead of me was the highlight – a superb view of the Tower Bridge.



With two outside balconies to choose from, I could have simply sat and watched all night as boats drifted up and down the River Thames. Instead, though, I was had a quest ahead of me… to find other great views that were a match for this one!

Vertigo 42 Champagne Bar

Dusk is a magical time to observe the city transform from day to night, and a great location to see this happen is at Vertigo 42, on the 42nd floor of Tower 42. You’ll have to take two lifts to get there, changing on the 23rd floor, as well as climb just one flight of stairs, but this bar is well worth the visit for the views alone. You can get a close-up view of the Gherkin which is only a stone’s throw away as well as an amazing panorama of the heart of the city.



To help you with your orientation, the words ‘tower’, ‘bank’, ‘big ben’, ‘eye’, ‘st pauls’, ‘bt tower, ‘wembley’, ‘barbican’, etc. are etched in the glass table that surrounds the bar. Whilst you settle down and get your bearings, it would be rude not to choose from the unique collection of Champagnes, wines and cocktails. They even have a tapas menu should you be feeling a little peckish.



Tate Modern

Tate Modern is pretty much directly opposite St. Paul’s Cathedral, one of London’s most iconic buildings. Entry to the gallery is free and if you head for Level 3, you will find a balcony offering a wonderful view across the River Thames. Note that the gallery closes at 6pm most days so if you want to see this view at night, you will need to be prompt. Alternatively, visit on a Friday or Saturday when the opening hours are extended until 10pm.



If you’re out of luck, then the view from nearby Millennium Bridge isn’t a bad alternative.



London Eye

For stunning views of the city – day or night – the London Eye is a must. A single revolution takes around 20-30 minutes but the time seems to fly by as there is so much to look at and take in.



Please note that you are not allowed to take tripods, multiple lenses or long lenses on to the capsules so taking good photographs, particularly at night when there can be lots of reflections coming back off the glass, can be a little challenging. (If you do happen to have a tripod, don’t worry… there is the means to hand it in for safekeeping and then claim it back after the ride.)



Make sure you also visit the 4D experience either before or after your ride as it is included in your ticket. This is a groundbreaking three minute 3D film with spectacular in-theatre effects including wind, bubbles and mist which add a breathtaking fourth dimension.

Paramount

I’d heard great reports about the views at Paramount and it didn’t disappoint. Located at the top of Centre Point, on the 32nd floor, you are in for a real treat here. There is a viewing gallery on the uppermost 33rd floor, accessed by a single flight of stairs. This offers truly 360-degree panoramas (you can walk right the ay around) with near-floor-to-ceiling windows and occasional clusters of low seating where you can relax and quite literally drihnk in the views.







Speak to the very friendly and approachable Marco, the head barman at Paramount, who’s responsible for about 80% of the cocktails on the menu. And they each have a story… pictured is the Femme Fatale – which he told me is “everything he looks for in a woman” – but on the menu is described as “Mysterious and seductive whose charms ensnare, this base of Bowmore 12 year old boasts a higher proportion of sherry-matured malt in its make-up which together with St Germain Elderflower cordial, lemon juice and egg white, and garnished with an edible flower makes a tantalising temptress.”



Westminster Bridge

Of course, you don’t have to scale tall buildings to enjoy some of the best views of London. If you don’t really have a head for heights, the views from Westminster Bridge at night – whichever direction you choose to look – rival those from some of London’s highest landmarks. From here there’s a great view of the National Theatre lit up in different colours, the London Eye and the chain of lights along the South Bank.



OXO Tower Restaurant, Bar & Brasserie

At the top of London’s famous OXO Tower is a restaurant, bar and brasserie. Formerly a power station for the Post Office, the building was saved from demolition in the 1970s and 1980s, you can now dine in this 8th floor restaurant and from there enjoy access to a long terrace overlooking the banks of the Thames.



Whist you enjoy the views, the restaurant offers a fine dining experience with beautifully presented, modern, seasonal British dishes with an innovative twist. For a special treat, try the roast Chateaubriand for two, with beef fat chips, béarnaise sauce, baby spinach and bacon salad.

Radio Rooftop Bar

Located on the 10th floor of the ME London hotel is the lovely Radio Rooftop Bar and is another bar with superb views of the city. From a fairly expansive terrace, the panorama takes in Tower Bridge, the Shard, London Bridge, Saint Paul’s, Tate Modern, Somerset House, Southbank, the London Eye, Houses of Parliament and the Theatre District of Covent Garden.



As well as the drinks and wide selection of cocktails, there’s a choice of international tapas (try the calamari or the goats cheese crostini) and a friendly, unpretentious atmosphere.

Palace of Westminster

Finally, one of the most iconic views in the world. If you aren’t one for heights, the view from the opposite bank to the Palace of Westminster is a sight to behold at night, with the glow of the Houses of Parliament and Elizabeth Tower (more commonly referred to as Big Ben) reflected in the Thames.






Alternatively, venture on to the bridge, armed with a tripod, and see what you can capture as the vehicles trundle by.



Enjoy these views, and do let me know what you consider to be the best views in London. Don’t forget to visitwww.americanexpress.co.uk/tripadvisor if you have an American Express card and would like to find out more about the content and offers.


 on Dec 29, 2014                                        A Luxury Travel Blog

Satellite Image - The Nile Illuminated at Night

Nile River Delta at Night
acquired October 28, 2010 download large image (606 KB, JPEG, 1440x960)
                           
One of the fascinating aspects of viewing Earth at night is how well the lights show the distribution of people. In this view of Egypt, we see a population almost completely concentrated along the Nile Valley, just a small percentage of the country’s land area.

The Nile River and its delta look like a brilliant, long-stemmed flower in this astronaut photograph of the southeastern Mediterranean Sea, as seen from the International Space Station. The Cairo metropolitan area forms a particularly bright base of the flower. The smaller cities and towns within the Nile Delta tend to be hard to see amidst the dense agricultural vegetation during the day. However, these settled areas and the connecting roads between them become clearly visible at night. Likewise, urbanized regions and infrastructure along the Nile River becomes apparent (see also The Great Bend of Nile, Day & Night.)

Another brightly lit region is visible along the eastern coastline of the Mediterranean—the Tel-Aviv metropolitan area in Israel (image right). To the east of Tel-Aviv lies Amman, Jordan. The two major water bodies that define the western and eastern coastlines of the Sinai Peninsula—the Gulf of Suez and the Gulf of Aqaba—are outlined by lights along their coastlines (image lower right). The city lights of Paphos, Limassol, Larnaca, and Nicosia are visible on the island of Cyprus (image top).
Scattered blue-grey clouds cover the Mediterranean Sea and the Sinai, while much of northeastern Africa is cloud-free. A thin yellow-brown band tracing the Earth’s curvature at image top is airglow, a faint band of light emission that results from the interaction of atmospheric atoms and molecules with solar radiation at approximately 100 kilometers (60 miles) altitude.

Astronaut photograph ISS025-E-9858 was acquired on October 28, 2010, with a Nikon D3S digital camera using a 16 mm lens, and is provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment and Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, Johnson Space Center. The image was taken by the Expedition 25 crew. The image in this article has been cropped and enhanced to improve contrast. Lens artifacts have been removed. The International Space Station Program supports the laboratory as part of the ISS National Lab to help astronauts take pictures of Earth that will be of the greatest value to scientists and the public, and to make those images freely available on the Internet. Additional images taken by astronauts and cosmonauts can be viewed at the NASA/JSC Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth. Caption by William L. Stefanov, NASA-JSC.
Instrument(s): 
ISS - Digital Camera

City Lights Illuminate the Nile
acquired October 13, 2012 download large image (2 MB, JPEG, 3000x3000)
acquired October 13, 2012 download GeoTIFF file (5 MB, TIFF)
acquired October 13, 2012 download Google Earth file (KML)
                           
The Nile River Valley and Delta comprise less than 5 percent of Egypt’s land area, but provide a home to roughly 97 percent of the country’s population. Nothing makes the location of human population clearer than the lights illuminating the valley and delta at night.

On October 13, 2012, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite captured this nighttime view of the Nile River Valley and Delta. This image is from the VIIRS “day-night band,” which detects light in a range of wavelengths from green to near-infrared and uses filtering techniques to observe signals such as gas flares, auroras, wildfires, city lights, and reflected moonlight.

The city lights resemble a giant calla lily, just one with a kink in its stem near the city of Luxor. Some of the brightest lights occur around Cairo, but lights are abundant along the length of the river. Bright city lights also occur along the Suez Canal and around Tel Aviv.

Away from the lights, however, land and water appear uniformly black. This image was acquired near the time of the new Moon, and little moonlight was available to brighten land and water surfaces.

Learn more about the VIIRS day-night band and nighttime imaging of Earth in our new feature story: Out of the Blue and Into the Black.
  1. References

  2. United Nations Environment Programme. (2008). Africa: Atlas of Our Changing Environment. Division of Early Warning and Assessment, United Nations Environment Programme, Nairobi, Kenya.
NASA Earth Observatory image by Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon, using VIIRS Day-Night Band data from the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership. Suomi NPP is the result of a partnership between NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Department of Defense. Caption by Michon Scott.
Instrument(s): 
Suomi NPP - VIIRS
NASA Earth Observatory





2014 - Satellite Imagery - Arabian Ramadan and Eid at Night

The Lights of Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr
Color bar for The Lights of Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr
acquired 2012 - 2014 download large image (1 MB, JPEG, 3099x3323)
                           
In December 2014, scientists using a NASA-NOAA satellite announced that they had detected significant changes in the amount and distribution of nighttime lighting during holiday seasons in the Middle East and North America. For instance, nighttime lights in some Middle East cities were 50 to 100 percent brighter during the holy month of Ramadan.


The maps on this page show changes in lighting intensity and location on the Arabian Peninsula and in the countries along the eastern Mediterranean coast. They are based on data from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite. The maps compare the night light signals from the months of Ramadan in 2012–2014 (parts of July and August in these years) to the average light output for the rest of 2012 to 2014.


Green shading marks areas where light usage increased during the holy days; yellow marks areas with little change; and red marks areas where less light was used.


The VIIRS instrument on Suomi NPP can observe faint light signals on the night side of our planet, including reflected moonlight, airglow, auroras, and manmade light sources. In 2012, scientists assembled a new composite map of Earth at night created from averaged data from 22 nights of VIIRS data. The new 2014 analysis of holiday lights uses a new algorithm that filters out moonlight, clouds, and airborne particles to show city lights on a nightly basis.


The idea to examine holiday lights arose in 2012 out of an issue with some nighttime images of Cairo, Egypt. A science team led by Miguel Román of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center noticed a discrepancy in city light signals while performing quality checks on early mission data. The science team realized that there was either an error in the data or an unknown signal that they should study further.


After digging deeper, the team found that the large increase in light output around the Egyptian capital corresponded with the holy month of Ramadan. The change made sense because Muslims fast during daylight in Ramadan, pushing meals, social gatherings, commerce and other activities into nighttime hours. To confirm that the nighttime signal was not merely an instrument artifact, the team examined all of the nighttime data from spring 2012 through autumn 2014.


They found that the peaks in light use closely tracked the Islamic calendar, as Ramadan shifted earlier in the summer each year.


Light use in Saudi Arabian cities, such as Riyadh and Jeddah, increased by 60 to 100 percent throughout the month of Ramadan. Light use in Turkish cities, however, increased far less. Some regions in Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon did not have an increase in light output—and some even demonstrated a moderate decrease, possibly due to unstable electrical grids and conflict in the region. Click on the large, downloadable map for a closer view of the differences.


acquired 2012 - 2014


“Even within majority Muslim populations, there are a lot of variations,” said Eleanor Stokes, a Yale researcher and collaborator with Román. “What we have seen is that these lighting patterns track cultural variation within the Middle East.”


These variations appear even at the neighborhood level. Román and Stokes compared night lights data from Cairo with socioeconomic data, voting patterns, access to public sanitation, and literacy rates. Some of the poorest and most devout areas observed Ramadan without significant increases in light use throughout the month, choosing—whether for cultural or financial reasons—to leave their lights off at night. But during the Eid al-Fitr celebration that marks of the end of Ramadan, light use soared across all study groups, as all the neighborhoods appeared to join in the festivities.


“Whether you are rich or poor, or religious or not, everybody in Egypt is celebrating Eid al-Fitr,” Román said. This is telling Stokes and Román that energy use patterns are reflecting social and cultural identities, as well as the habits of city dwellers, and not just price or other commercial factors.


NASA Earth Observatory





The Florida Peninsula at Night from Space

                         
                           
Astronauts aboard the International Space Station took this photograph of Florida in October 2014. The peninsula is highly recognizable even at night, especially when looking roughly north, as our map-trained brains expect.



Astronaut photograph ISS041-E-74232 was acquired on October 13, 2014, with a Nikon D3S digital camera using a 24 millimeter lens, and is provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations Facility and the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, Johnson Space Center. The image was taken by the Expedition 41 crew. It has been cropped and enhanced to improve contrast, and lens artifacts have been removed. The International Space Station Program supports the laboratory as part of the ISS National Lab to help astronauts take pictures of Earth that will be of the greatest value to scientists and the public, and to make those images freely available on the Internet. Additional images taken by astronauts and cosmonauts can be viewed at the NASA/JSC Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth. Caption by M. Justin Wilkinson, Jacobs at NASA-JSC.



Florida at Night


acquired October 13, 2014 download large image (2 MB, JPEG, 2128x1416)



Illuminated areas give a strong sense of the size of cities. The brightest continuous patch of lights is the Miami-Fort Lauderdale metropolitan area, the largest urban area in the southeastern U.S. and home to 5.6 million people. The next largest area is the Tampa Bay region (2.8 million people) on the Gulf Coast of the peninsula. Orlando, located in the middle, has a somewhat smaller footprint (2.3 million). A nearly straight line of cities runs nearly 560 kilometers (350 miles) along the Atlantic coast from Jacksonville, Florida, to Wilmington, North Carolina.

South of Orlando, the center and southern portions of the peninsula are as dark as the Atlantic Ocean, vividly illustrating the almost population-free Everglades wetland. The lights of Cocoa Beach trace the curved lines of Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center, an area well known to astronauts. Dim lights of the Florida Keys extend the arc of the Atlantic coast to the corner of the image. The small cluster of lights far offshore is Freeport on Grand Bahama Island (image right). The faint blue areas throughout the image are clouds lit by moonlight.
Instrument(s): 
ISS - Digital Camera
NASA Earth Observatory

Digital Town Planning by Night




“Here!” exclaimed Jebediah as he nosed his schooner onto a fan of fertile loam. Come sundown, a makeshift corral encircled his livestock, and by Sabbath eve, the crown of a crude barn rose above the neighboring hummock.


Next spring, a steady procession of ships yielded a healthy crop of farmhouses. Wagon wheels burned a double track to the river landing, where itinerant capitalists soon repurposed a cluster of spartan shacks:


Dispell ill humours at Rodger’s Saloon!

 Satisfy your homestead needs with Trusty Mercantile!

 Every fifth horseshoe free at The Irony!


Forthwith straightened and graded, Main Street ran east to west, land astride platted into tidy rectangles. Soon, Washington and Jefferson joined in parallel, crossed at even intervals by perpendicular First, Second, and Third Streets.


A crystal in saturated solution, this grid grew: shooting southeast into open country along Telegraph Road, doglegging left around Miller’s Swamp, and crossing the river at Monroe Street Bridge, which lensed the opposite shore into a different orientation…


And so on, until some time ’round the Depression, when town planners discovered:
Oh my golly, curves! By George, a city block doesn’t necessarily need to be a rectangle, right? And, three way intersections, yeah, they’re pretty darn tootin’ okay…


Thereafter, new streets came, but in more pear-shaped and less grid-like arrangements than before.
Now, to Yours Truly, nirvana is a sunny day, strolling well-worn sidewalks past the wide-windowed storefronts of an old downtown. Some people might call me a Main Streetaholic – I’ve been known to scour maps for quaintness, and on a road trip, I’ll happily choose the Byzantine route just to experience the charms of a bygone Broadway.

And I thought I knew about every one between Ukiah and Scotts Valley.


Until, out of the blue, a friend informed me: “I’m moving to Graton!
Graton…? California? Uh… Why? Up came the Street View, and there, west of Santa Rosa, it was: a pocket-sized downtown decorated by a handful of adorable “Old West”-style buildings. OMFG.


What other treasures had I missed?!


I made these maps to help me find out.


Above is San Francisco, and below, New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Tokyo, and five other interesting metros:


Tokyo
Tokyo
New York
New York
Paris
Paris
Los Angeles
Los Angeles
Washington DC
Washington DC
Chicago
Chicago
Berlin
Berlin
Boston
Boston
London
London
That’s every public street, colored by the predominant orientation of itself and its neighbors, thickened where the layout is most “grid-like” – to use an old-school woodworking metaphor, it’s as if we brushed some digital lacquer over the raw geographic transportation network data to make the grain pop.


For the detail-oriented, these are 100%-algorithmic images generated from MapZen’s Migurski-inspired October 2014 OpenStreetMap Metro Extracts as follows. First, we assign each linear street segment a compass-heading-based tone from a modified sinebow, where a 90 degree directional difference corresponds to a full color revolution, so that roads at right angles to each other have the same hue. Then, to render each point on the map, we use Proximatic, my custom high-performance k-NN engine, to calculate the length-weighted average of the colors assigned to the nearest 500 meters of street, keying render weight to the local degree of parallelism/orthogonality (derived in a similar mod-90° vector space), with rolloffs for outlying roads and territory.
Pan and zoom via Vladimir Agafonkin’s excellent Leaflet viewer, and click the “Acme” button for a more conventional map of the current view, kudos to Poskanzer.


Lots of stories in there: of cities waxed, towns waned, territory absorbed, and terrain negotiated (or, ala San Francisco, ignored completely).


Enjoy, and I’ll see you in the grids!       Data Pointed