Profligate users of electricity, for example, are over-represented while the rural poor are invisible -- as they too often are in real life. Still, it is clear from this image that the majority of people live in the mid-latitudes of the northern hemisphere, that more people live near water than in the interiors of continents, and that population densities are still low in places that are extremely cold, dry, wet, or high. (The "too wet" category surprises people, but the nutrients are often so thoroughly leached from tropical soils that although they are found under lush forests, they cannot support settled agriculture -- only low-density shifting cultivation.)
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Better yet, visit original APOD post to really enlarge.
This image has a lot of detail that is not visible at even double this scale.
Watch this sequence a few times, looking for patterns and familiar coastlines or other locations. You can share your reactions with the "comments" button below, or on the NASA site itself.
At first glance, today's APOD image seems similar to yesterday's sequence. It is mostly dark, with some scattered blues and oranges. But as the notes for Celestial Still Life make clear, these colored lights reflect (pun intended) patterns on a much vaster scale than anything on our planet could do.
|CLICK TO ENLARGE --|
THIS IS REALLY BIG STUFF!