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Earth at Night

NASA’s Earth at Night explores the brilliance of our planet when it is in darkness.
It is a compilation of stories depicting the interactions between science and
wonder, and I am pleased to share this visually stunning and captivating exploration of
our home planet.
From space, our Earth looks tranquil. The blue ethereal vastness of the oceans
harmoniously shares the space with verdant green land—an undercurrent of gentleness and solitude. But spending time gazing at the images presented in this book,
our home planet at night instantly reveals a different reality. Beautiful, filled with glowing communities, natural wonders, and striking illumination, our world is bustling with
activity and life.
Darkness is not void of illumination. It is the contrast, the area between light and
dark, that is often the most illustrative. Darkness reminds me of where I came from
and where I am now—from a small town in the mountains, to the unique vantage point
of the Nation’s capital. Darkness is where dreamers and learners of all ages peer into
the universe and think of questions about themselves and their space in the cosmos.
Light is where they work, where they gather, and take time together.
NASA’s spacefaring satellites have compiled an unprecedented record of our
Earth, and its luminescence in darkness, to captivate and spark curiosity. These
missions see the contrast between dark and light through the lenses of scientific
instruments. Our home planet is full of complex and dynamic cycles and processes.
These soaring observers show us new ways to discern the nuances of light created
by natural and human-made sources, such as auroras, wildfires, cities, phytoplankton,
and volcanoes.”

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