Friday, May 5, 2006

Sunset over Europe and Africa

It's only about 5:00pm but is fast getting dark and in part
due to the rain. The weather has been rather predictable
this past week - bright sunshine first part of the day and
rain or thunderstorm in the late afternoon. Dreary.

I wonder how does this part of the world look like from a
satellite. However, here's how parts of Europe and Africa
look like come sunset. Awesome view!

This photograph was taken via satellite, on a cloudless day.
The picture is of Europe and Africa when the sun is setting.
Half of the picture is in night.

The bright dots you see are the city lights.

The top part of Africa is the Sahara Desert. Note that the
lights are already on in Holland, Paris, and Barcelona and
that it's still daylight in London, Lisbon, and Madrid.

The sun is still shining on the Straits of Gibraltar.

The Mediterranean Sea is already in darkness.

In the middle of the Atlantic Ocean you can see the Azores Islands;
below them to the right are the Madeira Islands; a bit below are
the Canary Islands; and further south, close to the farthest
western point of Africa, are the Cape Verde Islands.

Note that the Sahara is huge and can be seen clearly both during
daytime and nighttime.

To the left, on top, is Greenland, totally frozen.

Isn't this a fantastic photograph? Unfortunately, not able to
give due credit as source is unknown.


  1. Happy surfing around.! i m happyily surfing around too!!! have a good flyday:)

  2. Hi Winn, good to have you visit again. You too, have a good flyday and a great weekend.

  3. This is really an amazing photograph. I have never seen anything like it before.

  4. Yeah, really amazing.

  5. Anonymous8:38 PM

    I can see the lights in my house from here....


    (I can put a sour note on just about anything, can't I? Maybe I should stop that...)

  7. Nice... first time to see such a photo...

  8. It is certainly a stunning image, but it isn't a photo. One big clue is the lack of clouds. To learn more clues and how it was made you can visit this NASA web page: Earth Observatory.

    Great image. Thanks for posting it, Happy!

  9. L B, haha...yours must be a really big house.

    MM, light pollution?

    Lrong, yes, amazing.

    Pandabonium, it says "photograph was taken via satellite, on a cloudless day." but you may be right. Thanks for sharing the website.

  10. Sun rises; Sun sets...

    Better it is to live
    one day to see
    both sunrise and sunset
    than to live a hundred years
    not knowing it's beauty

  11. Robin, indeed, so true. There is beauty all around us; we only need to recognize it to appreciate it. Thank you for sharing that.

  12. According to NASA, it is a composite of information from many sensors of different satelites. That's why there are no clouds (the earth is covered with lots of clouds over an area that large) also notice how you can see the bottom of the ocean and that the lights of cities are brighter than the daylight side.

    Amazing image and really cool that they can collect all that data and put it together using computers.

  13. Pandabonium, thank you for the detailed explanation.