NASA is proving that there are a lot of night owls out there.
The space agency has released new photos and videos taken with high-resolution visible and infrared imager cameras aboard a NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellite that captured the Earth at night in stunning detail.
According to NASA, "the new sensor, the day-night band of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), is sensitive enough to detect the nocturnal glow produced by Earth's atmosphere and the light from a single ship in the sea."
"It's very high-quality data," NOAA scientist Christopher Elvidge told reporters at the American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco. "I rate it six times better spatial resolution."
Steve Miller, a researcher at NOAA's Colorado State University Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, added at the event, "For all the reasons that we need to see Earth during the day, we also need to see Earth at night. Unlike humans, the Earth never sleeps."
The National Weather Service plans to use the enhanced image technology to help forecast fog in coastal regions.
Check out the view at night: