[h=4]New Views of the Earth at Night[/h]
The night is nowhere near as dark as most of us think. In fact, the Earth is never really dark. And we don’t have to be in the dark about what is happening at night anymore either. —Steven Miller, atmospheric scientist, Colorado State University. The night side of Earth twinkles with light. The first thing to stand out is the cities. “Nothing tells us more about the spread of humans across the Earth than city lights,” asserts Chris Elvidge, a NOAA scientist who has studied them for 20 years.
“City lights provide a fairly straightforward means to map urban versus rural areas, and to show where major population centers are and where they are not,” says William Stefanov of the International Space Station program. (View Large Image - NASA Earth Observatory and NOAA National Geophysical Data Center)
Blue pigment occurs naturally in exactly one form: lapis lazuli. That uniqueness made the color a luxury commodity for thousands of years. Traded at a cost greater than gold, reserved for royalty, and written into artist’s contracts, blue is both visually and materially rich. Marc Walton, senior scientist at the Center for Scientific Studies in the Arts, is an expert on blue’s history. Join him as he uncovers the color’s journey through art history, from Cleopatra’s eye shadow to Picasso’s blue period.