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: Earth survived near-miss from 2012 solar storm: NASA

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

Video: A dizzying view of the Earth from space

22 hours ago

We've got vertigo watching this video, but in a good way! This is a sped-up view of Earth from the International Space Station from the Cupola, a wraparound window that is usually used for cargo ship berthings ...

NEOWISE spots a comet that looked like an asteroid

22 hours ago

Comet C/2013 UQ4 (Catalina) has been observed by NASA's Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) spacecraft just one day after passing through its closest approach to the sun. The comet ...

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