Earth at night: Google Maps and NASA team up for interactive feature.

Google and NASA Create Stunning Earth-at-Night Interactive

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Dec. 11 2012 2:45 PM

Google and NASA Create Stunning Earth-at-Night Interactive

Google Maps lets you play around with Earth as a big blue marble, but now night owls can get a good look at our planet as it appears at night: the black marble.

Using imagery from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's jointly owned Suomi NPP satellite, Google mapped the nighttime images over its existing blue marble map to provide a realistic view of our planet from space once the sun sets.

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The effort took 312 orbits to get "a clear shot of every parcel of Earth's land surface and islands," and a powerful Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite sensor to capture 2.5 terabytes of pictures.

The stunning result shows after-dark lights on surfaces around the globe.

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