Night time image of the city lights of Western Europe. The image was acquired on 12 July 2020 by Day/Night Band of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument, aboard the joint NASA/NOAA Suomi National Polar orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) satellite. The two large concentration of light in the center of the image are the cities of London and Paris.
The VIIRS Nighttime Imagery (Day/Night Band, Enhanced Near Constant Contrast) layer shows the Earth’s surface and atmosphere using a sensor designed to capture low-light emission sources, under varying illumination conditions. It is displayed as a grey-scale image. The layer is useful for showing patterns of human activity and energy behaviors such as cities and highways, the tracking of shipping and fishing fleets at night and the burning of waste natural gas (gas flares) from on and off shore oil/gas production sites.