Two Koreas

Through a project dubbed Cities at Night, volunteers are being asked to help catalog and geotag thousands of photos of Earth at night taken from the International Space Station. This particular image has already been positively identified as showing North Korea (the dark area) and South Korea (the brightly light area in the lower right) at night.

Related article: Help identify these city nightscapes shot from the ISS

Published:
Photo by: NASA / Caption by:

Spain and Portugal

This image, another one that's easily confirmed, shows the Iberian Peninsula at night, including all of Spain and Portugal. Madrid is the bright spot just above the center.

Related article: Help identify these city nightscapes shot from the ISS

Published:
Photo by: NASA / Caption by:

Paris at Night

Paris may be one of the few places on Earth that looks less romantic when observed from orbit. Can you pick out the Moulin Rouge or Eiffel Tower?

Related article: Help identify these city nightscapes shot from the ISS

Published:
Photo by: NASA / Caption by:

Auroras near Budapest

The exact location of this photo hasn't been confirmed yet, but it was likely taken somewhere over Hungary or another part of Eastern Europe. The green and blue lights of the aurora borealis are visible on the right.

Related article: Help identify these city nightscapes shot from the ISS

Published:
Photo by: NASA / Caption by:

Sunrise approaches Scotland

The crowd's best guess on this one is that it shows Scotland just before daybreak.

Related article: Help identify these city nightscapes shot from the ISS

Published:
Photo by: NASA / Caption by:

NYC

This should be unmistakable to particularly astute urbanites as a shot of the New York City area. The bright lights of midtown Manhattan are visible just to the left of center, with the dark rectangle of Central Park just to the left of that.

Related article: Help identify these city nightscapes shot from the ISS

Published:
Photo by: NASA / Caption by:

Island of Hawaii

Here's one spot where astronomers were likely looking back out at space at the same moment this picture was snapped. This is the island of Hawaii, which is basically just a handful of big volcanoes with some small cities clinging to their edges. On top of the volcano Mauna Kea at the center of the island is one of the most important collections of terrestrial telescopes on Earth, including the powerful Keck telescopes.

Related article: Help identify these city nightscapes shot from the ISS

Published:
Photo by: NASA / Caption by:

Tokyo

Earth's largest megalopolis at night. This is Tokyo, Japan from the ISS. Look closely and you can even spot ships in Tokyo Bay.

Related article: Help identify these city nightscapes shot from the ISS

Published:
Photo by: NASA / Caption by:

Eastern edge of the Mediterranean

Here's a shot of the eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea at night. All of the major cities in this one have already been positively identified.

Related article: Help identify these city nightscapes shot from the ISS

Published:
Photo by: NASA / Caption by:

Shanghai

China shines brightly in this photo of central Shanghai at night. This shot seems to be more close-up, but those lights certainly give Tokyo and New York a run for their money when it comes to being crowned king of light pollution.

Related article: Help identify these city nightscapes shot from the ISS

Published:
Photo by: NASA / Caption by:

Burma

Another dark country, this photo captured both portions of the ISS and of the sparsely lit nation of Burma.

Related article: Help identify these city nightscapes shot from the ISS

Published:
Photo by: NASA / Caption by:

Sochi?

This represents my contribution to the citizen science project to catalog these photos. While the best guess the community had so far placed it somewhere in the nation of Georgia, I recognized it as a photo I saw last winter of Sochi, Russia, during the Winter Olympics.

Related article: Help identify these city nightscapes shot from the ISS

Published:
Photo by: NASA / Caption by:

The Sahara at night

Likely captured somewhere above Libya, this photo shows the dim desolation of the Sahara desert after dark.

To check out more photos of the Earth at night from the ISS and even try your hand at identifying some, visit the Cities at Night project page.

Related article: Help identify these city nightscapes shot from the ISS

Published:
Photo by: NASA / Caption by:
Hot Galleries

Last-minute gift ideas

Under pressure? These will deliver on time

With plenty of top-notch retailers offering digital gifts, you still have time to salvage your gift-giving reputation.

Hot Products