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NASA Black Marble
Old 12-14-2012, 04:59 AM   #1
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NASA Black Marble

Earlier this month NASA released a high-definition view of the earth at night. This website has a very impressive viewer that allows you to scroll to any location on earth and zoom in to see more detail. As the website notes, you need to go full screen to really appreciate the view.

NASA’s Black Marble | Commercial & Editorial Dublin Photographer

While looking at the US I noticed an unusual concentration of lights in a sparsely populated area of south Texas where there are only a few very small towns. Took me a moment to figure it out.

In the image below, note the large crescent-shaped area south of Austin/San Antonio and west of Houston. Bragging rights to the first to correctly identify what this area is and the source of the lights.
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Old 12-14-2012, 05:15 AM   #2
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Is that the Eagle Ford Shale field where they are doing all the drilling and fracking?
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Old 12-14-2012, 05:19 AM   #3
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Hey I win!

I just happened to know the geography of the shale oil field and that's exactly what the light pattern reminded me of.

After posting the above I googled "eagle ford shale lights at night" and got this: Eagle Ford Shale lights up South Texas as boom in oil, gas production continues Corpus Christi Caller-Times



That blob at the bottom is my neighborhood! Most of it is the US side of the Rio Grande, and you can kind of "see" the east-west path of the river before it turns north, but the very bottom big blob of light is the city of Reynosa in MX.
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Old 12-14-2012, 05:26 AM   #4
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Sheesh. I should have excluded anyone who lives in south TX from the competition.

Yep, that's correct. According to the image below there are thousands of active well sites in the area.

The NASA image really gives you an appreciation of the activity level - and why there is a huge shortage of school bus drivers within a 250 mile radius.
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Old 12-14-2012, 05:40 AM   #5
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BTW, you can also see a large area of lights in the Bakken shale field up in North Dakota...
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Old 12-14-2012, 06:20 AM   #6
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BTW, you can also see a large area of lights in the Bakken shale field up in North Dakota...
It took me a while, but I found it! That's a huge area of lights.

You can see the oil platform lights in the Gulf of Mexico, scattered south of NO.

And interesting, in the Caribbean, Puerto Rico is way lit up compared to the rest of the islands, LOL!

There is some great ball of fire off the coast of Mexico just northeast of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. I guess they have some oil thing going on there. Bay of Campeche offshore oil fields.
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:34 AM   #7
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Hmmmm - I guess only South Texans are interested in this topic . But I really appreciate the link to the NASA "black marble". DH and I really enjoyed browsing the Western Hemisphere. We really noticed how the lights in the US (and maybe Canada) were so much brighter than everywhere else.
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:37 AM   #8
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That is cool. Home sweet home (for now)...
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:09 AM   #9
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That is cool. Home sweet home (for now)...
How did you get that pic? Did you just take a screen shot? I wanted an image of the Bay of Campeche lights off the Mexican coast but I didn't see an option.
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:04 PM   #10
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Very interesting! Thanks for sharing!
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:59 PM   #11
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While looking at the US I noticed an unusual concentration of lights in a sparsely populated area of south Texas where there are only a few very small towns. Took me a moment to figure it out.
In the image below, note the large crescent-shaped area south of Austin/San Antonio and west of Houston. Bragging rights to the first to correctly identify what this area is and the source of the lights.
Well, if it had been a Friday night, I would've guessed any Texas high-school football stadium...

Dammit, left the lanai light on again:
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File Type: png Hawaii at night.PNG (77.5 KB, 3 views)
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