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The planet that never sleeps: Incredible shots of the Black Marble [video]

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Even though the sun may not be shining on half the planet, that doesn’t mean life doesn’t continue at a flurried pace as these recently-released shots from the Suomi NPP satellite reveal.

The satellite sensor, the day-night band of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), is primarily intended to capture detailed data about cloud, snow and ice formations during nighttime hours. Before 1973, pictures of America’s nighttime lights were classified by the military, but since then NOAA’s National Geophysical Data Center has been processing the images to examine population and urbanization changes around the planet, along with helping to pinpoint electrical power blackouts in the United States.

But for the rest of us, simply being really pretty is enough.

Full story at LiveScience.

The view from space.

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