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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 this. 

Place your mouse on the yellow circles for additional information. earth at night

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.