Night earth observation taken by the Expedition 20 crew

Michael Barratt2009-09-11


Washington, DC, United States

ISS020-E-039932 (11 Sept. 2009) --- City of Dubai, United Arab Emirates is featured in this night view photographed by an Expedition 20 crew member on the International Space Station. The city of Dubai is the largest metropolitan area in the emirate of Dubai, one of the member states of the United Arab Emirates. Dubai is located along the southern Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula, and its signature city is known for high profile architectural and development projects. Among the most notable is the Palm Island Resort, a manmade peninsula and surrounding islands built from over 50 million cubic meters of sand. Two other island projects, one similar to the Palm Island Resort and another crafted to look like a map of the world, are also underway along the Dubai coastline. This night time photograph of the city of Dubai was taken at approximately 2:00 a.m. local time. Orange sodium vapor lights trace out the major highways and surface street grid in and around the metropolitan area, while grey-white mercury vapor lamps fill in the commercial and residential areas. The lighted islands and peninsula of the Palm Island Resort are clearly visible along the coastline. An interesting spiral pattern of lights on the southeastern fringe of the urban area is a camel racetrack. Night time images like these are useful to climate modelers, urban planners, and geographers as they allow for simple definition of urban (densely lit) and rural (sparely lit) areas.


  • Title: Night earth observation taken by the Expedition 20 crew
  • Creator: Michael Barratt
  • Date Created: 2009-09-11
  • Rights: JSC
  • Album: mgwhite

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