The Nation: The U.S. at Night

SHOT from an altitude of 500 miles during daylight hours, ordinary weather-satellite pictures show little or no evidence of man and his great cities, highways, bridges, dams and cultivated fields. In fact, a visitor from another planet, viewing the world from that distance, might well ask: "Is there life on earth?" At night, however, the answer is obvious. The picture above, one of a series taken at 500 miles altitude by an Air Force satellite during darkness, clearly shows the cities in the eastern half of the U.S. glowing brightly—unmistakable signs that creatures below are using huge amounts of energy. Visible...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!