These Black Marble Images Were Recently Released by NASA

 - Dec 19, 2012
References: & mashable
People first got a glimpse of these Black Marble images last week when NASA released a photo from space of Earth at night. Now, in a collaboration with Google, NASA has created an interactive experience for those interested in seeing the Earth in its darkest hours.

The photos themselves were taken using a technology called Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS). It took 312 orbits around the Earth for the device to get clear photos. These Black Marble images were taken from a nine day "Earth photoshoot" in April of 2012 and another 13 days of photos in October.

The map shown is a composite of data and images gathered by the device in space and pieced together to create one view of the entire world. You can see some countries are illuminated more than others.