Earth at Night

Here’s a nice little addition to your My Places which shows what the earth looks like from space at night.
Astronomers see this picture as light pollution ruining our views of the heavens. Environmentalists see this as wasted energy. I have to agree with both. It wouldn’t take very much for us to start creating better lighting systems that light the ground, not the sky. But, still, this picture is pretty!

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. Ah, so many ugly lights all over the planet…. Dark skies are hard to find these days, except, apparently, in the middle of South America.

  2. Light pollution is indeed a problem, but you’re right, Frank, it’s a beautiful sight from space.

  3. Ah I’ve never been a person to complain about light pollution. Canada looks like a very empty place though.

  4. Used Tissue says:

    Yeah… I miss the stars here in London, the lights are so bright they block out all the stars except about 3

  5. Richard Caruana says:

    I was wondering how do you use Google Earth to view the Night Lights on Earth ?

  6. hi there
    i am researching about light pollution but steal i haven’t found a map like the one that you have for the day.could you plz help me????it’s been a long time that we are ruining the earth you’s to some extent awful.i feel like crying when i see that we are doing it easily.

  7. How do i turn this off? I downloaded it but i cant get to regular Google Earth anymore.

  8. How do you get it to work?

  9. Anonymous says:

    I really want the light pollution map off, but I don’t no how to How can I turn it off?

  10. Joseph Eaton says:

    How do I turn off earth at night?


  12. It doesn’t work. All I can see is a white globe with a big red X on it.
    So bad…

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