Earth  ID: 31129

Bursting with Holiday Energy—United States

NASA researchers found that nighttime lights in the United States shine 20 to 50 percent brighter in December due to holiday light displays and other activities during Christmas and New Year’s when compared to light output during the rest of the year. These five maps, created using data from the VIIRS DNB on the Suomi NPP satellite, show changes in lighting intensity and location around many major cities, comparing the nighttime light signals from December 2012 and 2013 to the average light output for the rest of 2012 to 2014. Green shading marks areas where light usage increased in December; yellow marks areas with little change; and red marks areas where less light was used.

The light output from 70 U.S. cities was examined as a first step toward determining patterns in urban energy use. They found that light intensity increased by 30 to 50 percent in the suburbs and outskirts of major cities where there is more yard space and more single-family homes. Lights in the central urban areas did not increase as much as in the suburbs but still brightened by 20 to 30 percent. Despite being ethnically and religiously diverse, the U.S. experiences a holiday increase across most urban communities—tracking a national, shared tradition. Daily nightlight data provide a new way of looking at how people use cities and the forces and patterns driving energy use.

For More Information

NASA Earth Observatory


Credits

Kevin W. Miller (GST): Lead Graphic Designer
Jesse Allen (SSAI): Lead Data Visualizer
Miguel Román (NASA/GSFC): Lead Data Provider
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA, Earth at Night book

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https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/31129

Keywords:
SVS >> Night lights
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Human Dimensions >> Population
GCMD >> Location >> United States Of America
SVS >> Hyperwall
SVS >> VIIRS
NASA Science >> Earth

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 8.0.0.0.0