19 impossibly detailed views of Earth from space at night

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Nothing makes me feels that are human race is connected except the view of the Earth from space at night.

National border vanish and the rivers unite our cities into a single glowing tapestry.

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Just look at this incredible view of Europe, sparkling with artificial light:

It may be hard to believe, but this is not a real image of Earth from space at night.

Europe and northern Africa.

Yes, this is northern Europe. But no, it is not a photo.

Nope, not the real United Kingdom.

Northern Europe.

They’re computer renderings created by Anton Balazh, a graphic artist who lives in St. Petersburg, Russia.

The Middle East and northeast Africa.

Balazh liked working with 3D programs, and thought a model of Earth would be fun to make.

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The Arabian Peninsula and eastern Africa.

So he did, but it wasn’t an overnight project.

Southeast Asia.

Balazh spent “several years gradually complicating the model,” he says.

Japan and eastern Asia.

For realism, he downloaded countless gigabytes of real satellite images from NASA’s Visible Earth catalogs.

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Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka.

Source: NASA Visible Earth

Then spliced in bathymetry data for a realistic-looking ocean floor…


…And sea level data for accurate coastlines.

East Australia.

And, using NASA-based topography data, he lifted up mountain ranges that would normally look flat from space.

The tip of South America.

He also layered in city light data collected by the Suomi NPP satellite, which orbits the Earth.


Source: NASA Visible Earth

A series of images like the collection here takes Balazh a month to prepare.

Northwest South America.

“There are many different tweaks” to polish a shot, he says: amping up city lights, raising mountains, or casting artificial moonlight in just the right way.

Central America.

Each image has about “20-30 million polygons” to form realistic 3D terrain.


And the 5,000-by-5,000-pixel files would take dozens of mobile phones to display at full resolution.

The American West.

“Rendering a single image takes … tens of hours on a multi-core computer with 32 GB of RAM,” he says.

The American Midwest.

Balazh sells his images to stock image services, which he says “sell well every day.”

Southeast United States.

His model of Earth pulls in enough money for him to take vacations…


…And enjoy all that the real Earth has to offer.


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c5d094d2086cdf56ad5c1380e5317d2e?s=96&r=g - 19 impossibly detailed views of Earth from space at night
Adeel Younashttps://techwafer.com
Editor-in-Chief at TechWafer (previously The Tech) an Entrepreneur, Blogger, Developer, and Freelancer.

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