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Stunning nighttime views of Earth

Twinkling city lights, raging wildfires and colorful auroras are lit up in new dazzling nighttime views of the Earth released Wednesday, courtesy of a newly launched NASA-NOAA satellite that's equipped with a sensor to observe the planet at night.

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The United States at night, an image made possible by a new satellite that detects light in a range of wavelengths from green to near-infrared and uses filtering techniques to observe dim signals.
AP Photo/NASA

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Sept. 24, 2012: The Korean Peninsula is seen at night from a composite assembled from data acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite. The image was made possible by the new satellite's cameras, which use filtering techniques to observe dim signals such as city lights, gas flares, auroras, wildfires, and reflected moonlight.
AP Photo/NASA

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Great Britain, Ireland, and part of northwestern Europe, including France, Belgium and the Netherlands, as they appeared on the night of March 27, 2012. The image was made possible by a new satellite's "day-night band."
AP Photo/NASA

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Oct. 13, 2012: The Nile River valley and delta is seen at night from a composite assembled from data acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite. The image was made possible by the new satellites day-night band of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), which detects light in a range of wavelengths from green to near-infrared and uses filtering techniques to observe dim signals such as city lights, gas flares, auroras, wildfires, and reflected moonlight. The Nile River Valley and Delta comprise less than 5 percent of Egypts land area, but provide a home to roughly 97 percent of the countrys population. Nothing makes the location of human population clearer than the lights illuminating the valley and delta at night. The city lights resemble a giant calla lily, just one with a kink in its stem near the city of Luxor. Some of the brightest lights occur around Cairo, but lights are abundant along the length of the river. Bright city lights also occur along the Suez Canal and around Tel Aviv. Away from the lights, however, land and water appear uniformly black. This image was acquired near the time of the new Moon, and little moonlight was available to brighten land and water surfaces.
AP Photo/NASA

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This image provided by NASA shows the eastern seaboard of the United States of America at night from a composite assembled from data acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite as Hurricane Sandy came ashore on Oct. 30, 2012.
AP Photo/NASA

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Dec. 5, 2012: A man looks at a view of Earth from space during a media conference Wednesday at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has released new composite images of earth taken by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite. A new sensor aboard the NPP satellite is enabling scientists to observe Earth's atmosphere and surface during nighttime hours, in greater detail than ever before.
AP Photo/Ben Margot

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This NASA image from a composite assembled from data acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite in April and October 2012 shows the city lights of earth at night.
AP Photo/NASA

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Dec. 5, 2012: A 1/20 scale model of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration-National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite, which was launched last year, is seen Wednesday at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco. A new sensor aboard this satellite is enabling scientists to observe Earth's atmosphere and surface during nighttime hours, in greater detail than ever before.
AP Photo/Ben Margot

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This December 1968 file photo provided by NASA shows Earth as seen from the Apollo 8 spacecraft. The images provided by the NASA mission were the first to how the planet in its entirety.
AP Photo/NASA

Stunning nighttime views of Earth

Twinkling city lights, raging wildfires and colorful auroras are lit up in new dazzling nighttime views of the Earth released Wednesday, courtesy of a newly launched NASA-NOAA satellite that's equipped with a sensor to observe the planet at night.

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