Where Does The Energy Go?
Human-made light is visible in this view of the Earth. The brightness of the light
corresponds roughly to the rate of local fossil fuel consumption. Brightness does not
necessarily correspond to human population. For example, the Island of Madagascar holds 18 million people yet
it is almost totally dark. The people of Madagascar are poor and poor people do
not consume much fossil fuel. Prosperous people consume more fossil fuel and they
produce more light. The brightness of the prosperous countries amply illustrates
Place your mouse on the yellow circles for additional information.
About Earth at Night
Hundreds of photographs taken over the course of a year were combined to make this picture.
The photographs were made by a satellite on cloudless nights. Much larger and
more detailed versions of this picture are available at:
Other satellite pictures showing clouds, sea ice, ocean color, shallow water, land
cover etc. are also available at this site.