SAN FRANCISCO (December 5, 2012)--Twinkling city lights, raging wildfires and colorful auroras are lit up in new dazzling nighttime views of the Earth released Wednesday from a newly launched NASA-NOAA satellite that's equipped with a sensor to observe the planet at night.
The images include Nile River bathed in city lights and a map of the United States shows the populated East Coast illuminated.
Light from fishing boats can be pinpointed.
The satellite also captured the glow from natural sources including moonlight, northern lights and naturally occurring fires.
After Superstorm Sandy made landfall in late October, hard-hit New Jersey, lower Manhattan and the Rockaways appeared dark in the satellite images compared with surrounding areas, the result of widespread power outages.