Earth at Night from Rosetta

Rosetta Earth at Night and Google EarthMy friend Paul Gilster at Centauri Dreams posted about an interesting photo from the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft whose mission is to approach a comet. Rosetta has a complex trajectory including three Earth and one Mars gravity assist approaches before finally reaching the comet. As it was coming by the Earth recently, it captured a beautiful composite picture of the Earth (from 80 thousand km) showing a thin crescent of daylight and capturing city lights on the dark portion.
Naturally, being a Google Earth fanatic, I immediately thought of comparing the view to GE with the NASA Earth City Lights layer. So, I created a placemark so you can compare the Rosetta photo to Google Earth. Just turn on the layer in GE found now under: “Gallery->NASA->Earth City Lights“. Then open this placemark to view the same view as Rosetta in Google Earth. The advantage to viewing the Earth City Lights layer is that you can see the entire Earth, zoom in a bit closer for more detail, and turn on other layers like Roads and Populated Places so you can see which roads and cities the lights belong to. Or click on the thumbnail to see a closer comparison.

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. Gary Alexander says:

    Um…wow. Thank you. That night shot is just nice.

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