Launched by Spanish astrophysicists, 'Cities at Night' is a website that attempts to identify photographs of cities taken from space.
Inspired by an astronaut's Twitter account, the site aims to use the beautiful photographs in a way that's beneficial to science. For instance, they can help scientists better understand the effects of urban light pollution, which wastes energy, disturbs sleep and adversely impacts wildlife. Alejandro Sanchez from Complutense University of Madrid explains, "We want to make the nighttime images useful for citizens, journalists and scientists. And make this beauty accessible -- but also make people think about if all this waste of energy is really needed."
The initiative has crowdsourced help from volunteers for over 1,000 tasks. The eventual goal is that cities will begin to dim down, saving both money and energy.
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