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NASA photos: Cities at night

By: Catie Leary on Oct. 16, 2009, 11:22 p.m.
Ireland and England as seen from space

Photo: NASA

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Hundreds of kilometers up

To an observer in space, humanity’s footprint on the surface of the Earth is large and varied. Astronauts circling the Earth have the perfect vantage point, taking in whole regions at once. Onboard cameras and a bit of experimentation allow astronauts to take highly detailed images of the world's cities at night and share them with the rest of us.