Earth Hour takes place this Saturday, 28th of March at 8:30 pm local time. Earth hour is an annual event designed to raise awareness of global climate change. Participants turn off their lights for a period of 1 hour. It would be nice to see what this would look like from space, but due to obstruction from cloud cover and lightening, it might be difficult to see the effect. Nevertheless, this would be a good opportunity to look at what the earth looks like at night and see just how much energy we waste on lighting.
Google Earth by default shows endless day. There is an option on the tool bar to show the real-time location of sunlight and the night time shadow, but it doesn’t give an accurate picture of what the earth looks like at night. There is a layer called ‘Earth City lights’ found in Gallery->NASA that was first added in 2007. This is a cleaned-up image removing the clouds and lightening that would otherwise obstruct the view. Rather than using the ‘Earth City Lights’ layer, we recommend trying a newer, higher resolution version that can be found here on the Google Maps Gallery and viewed in Google Earth using this KML file
The South China Sea around the Island of Hainan, China, has almost as many lights as the land. These are presumably mostly fishing boats.
We found it interesting how many lights there are in the seas and oceans. We have made a KML noting some locations of interest that you can download here.
About Timothy Whitehead
Timothy has been using Google Earth since 2004 when it was still called Keyhole before it was renamed Google Earth in 2005 and has been a huge fan ever since. He is a programmer working for Red Wing Aerobatx and lives in Cape Town, South Africa.
One of the biggest stupidities ever. Instead of rationally using the energy people just go and shut down the lights for an hour. Especially Americans.
Global Warming is a Hoax this winter set all new cold records more snow than ever