Image: Nile river delta at night

Apr 21, 2011
Image Credit: NASA

(PhysOrg.com) -- One of the fascinating aspects of viewing Earth at night is how well the lights show the distribution of people. In this view of Egypt, the population is shown to be almost completely concentrated along the Nile Valley, just a small percentage of the country’s land area.

The Nile River and its look like a brilliant, long-stemmed flower in this photograph of the southeastern Mediterranean Sea, as seen from the International Space Station. The Cairo metropolitan area forms a particularly bright base of the flower. The smaller cities and towns within the Nile Delta tend to be hard to see amidst the dense agricultural vegetation during the day. However, these settled areas and the connecting roads between them become clearly visible at night. Likewise, urbanized regions and infrastructure along the Nile River becomes apparent.

Scattered blue-grey clouds cover the Mediterranean Sea and the Sinai, while much of northeastern Africa is cloud-free. The thin yellow-brown band tracing the Earth’s curvature at the top of the image is airglow, a faint band of light emission that results from the interaction of atmospheric atoms and molecules with solar radiation at an altitude of approximately 60 miles (100 kilometers).

This astronaut photograph was taken by the Expedition 25 crew on Oct. 28, 2010, with a Nikon D3S digital camera using a 16 mm lens.

Explore further: Mysteries of space dust revealed

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Hurricane Earl: The astronaut view

Apr 20, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- The relatively placid view from the International Space Station belied the potent forces at work in Hurricane Earl as it hovered northeast of Puerto Rico on Aug. 30, 2010. With maximum sustained ...

NASA Images Show Oil's Invasion Along Louisiana Coast

Jun 03, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- By combining data from multiple cameras of JPL's MISR instrument on NASA's Terra satellite, scientists gain new perspectives on the spread of oil into Louisiana's fragile wetlands.

Study shows long-term West Nile effects

Aug 16, 2006

U.S. medical experts say half of those infected with West Nile virus have ongoing health concerns more than a year later, including fatigue and tremors.

Recommended for you

Mysteries of space dust revealed

22 hours ago

The first analysis of space dust collected by a special collector onboard NASA's Stardust mission and sent back to Earth for study in 2006 suggests the tiny specks open a door to studying the origins of the ...

A guide to the 2014 Neptune opposition season

Aug 29, 2014

Never seen Neptune? Now is a good time to try, as the outermost ice giant world reaches opposition this weekend at 14:00 Universal Time (UT) or 10:00 AM EDT on Friday, August 29th. This means that the distant ...

Informing NASA's Asteroid Initiative: A citizen forum

Aug 28, 2014

In its history, the Earth has been repeatedly struck by asteroids, large chunks of rock from space that can cause considerable damage in a collision. Can we—or should we—try to protect Earth from potentially ...

Image: Rosetta's comet looms

Aug 28, 2014

Wow! Rosetta is getting ever-closer to its target comet by the day. This navigation camera shot from Aug. 23 shows that the spacecraft is so close to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko that it's difficult to ...

User comments : 3

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

LKD
5 / 5 (2) Apr 21, 2011
I wonder what the exposure time was?
Nikola
5 / 5 (2) Apr 21, 2011
If I were on the ISS I would never get any work done. I would be constantly taking picutres.
technicalengeneering
not rated yet Apr 22, 2011
I would give everything to see this from space