Nasa has unveiled the highest-quality images ever taken of the Earth at night.
The so-called 'Black Marble' photographs offer an "unprecedented new look at our planet", Nasa said.
The images are composites taken from a new NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellite.
The pictures "show the glow of natural and human-built phenomena across the planet in greater detail than ever before", the agency added.
The new sensor aboard the Nasa/NOAA craft is sensitive enough to detect the light from a single ship in the sea at night.
Satellites in the U.S. Defense Meteorological Satellite Program have been making observations with low-light sensors for 40 years. But the VIIRS day-night band can better detect and resolve Earth's night lights.
The new, higher resolution composite image of Earth at night was released at a news conference at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco. This and other VIIRS day-night band images are providing researchers with valuable data for a wide variety of previously unseen or poorly seen events.
Suggested For You
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements.Learn more