112

I believe the discovery was made by orbiting satellite, but I'm not sure which one. That is not the case. Look at the author affiliation for the article to which you linked. The three authors of that paper were from the British Antarctic Survey. These scientists were part of a larger expedition to Antarctica. They pointed a cheap instrument (extremely cheap ...


53

Well I confirmed via Google Maps that this is Mecca. As shown in the map and image below the roads align with those lighted in the image. The dark areas in the first image are steep hills to the East. The brightly lit region is the Kaaba and large Masjid al-Haram Mosque, and the bright up light is indeed the Makkah Royal Clock Tower.


35

It appears the answer is "no". Apollo mission reports describe night-time lights from Earth orbit, but sightings at lunar distances are notably absent. For example, The sights in earth orbit were spectacular; even on the dark side, where thunderstorms and fires in Africa captured the crew's attention. The earth-orbit timeline provided sufficient time ...


34

Yes, but it requires exceptional resolution. The GeoEye-1 satellite has 0.41 m resolution, and it has been used to count animals. Here you can see a picture it took of wildebeests: Image Credit: ITC The black and white image is the satellite image (though GeoEye-1 can do color imagery as well in 1.65 m resolution). The tiny dots peppered across the park ...


34

Don Pettit mentioned a an experiment set up with the San Antonio Astronomical Society who pointed both spotlights and a blue laser pointer at the ISS, pictured below in a 5-10 second exposure: I believe, but don't quote me on this, that the laser pointer was seen while the spotlight was not (with the aperture used). This is a picture from the ground, ...


28

Surprisingly, yes, in at least a few limited cases. There are aspects of astronomy that could be done by pointing a spy satellite at solar-system objects besides the Earth. As any photographer will tell you, the brightness of an extended, resolved object like a person, or the disk of a planet, does not decrease with distance between you and the object, and ...


27

What is the name of this line or this area? line A term for the line that's perfectly usable for this purpose is "horizon". The horizon, the line line separating the land from the sky, would be the green line in your image. Anything closer than the horizon will be visible to the spacecraft. area Note also that even though the area appears to have ...


25

Spy satellites are used to look at a really bright object: daytime Earth. This needs short exposure times, detector noise is no problem, and you want a B/W or full-color image. Astronomical telescopes are used to look at very dim objects (magnitude 20 stars), so they need far more sensitive detectors, and longer exposure times with accurate tracking. They ...


23

Millions. Meteorological satellites constantly take photos of Earth in a very wide spectrum, and the visible spectrum is a part of it, and many of these satellites travel on pretty high orbits with good overview of the whole Earth. There are many portals with these photos; finding specifically visible spectrum images may be tricky, but, say, pick any hour ...


21

What is the name of this line or this area? Typically, the part of the earth's surface that a satellite can view at any moment is known as its footprint, a term frequently used for remote sensing satellites and communications satellites. SE's answer about the horizon applies if the satellite is viewing the entire visible portion of the globe at once. As ...


20

Yes! Gamma-ray bursts from deep space were actually first discovered by the VELA spy satellites looking for hidden nuclear tests. The original 1973 paper Observations of Gamma-Ray Bursts of Cosmic Origin (also here, Klebesadel, Strong and Olson, 1973, ApJ 182:L85-L88). The paper indicates: The observations were made by detectors on the four Vela spacecraft,...


19

4 is actually the number, as is documented in Patent US4854527. It is a tetrahedral constellation using elliptical orbits. In one hemisphere two have their further point, while the other two have the opposite coverage. The orbital period is 27 hours.


19

It is technically possible to see big animals, but we are still far from being able to identify them without context information. For commercial satellites, the highest spatial resolution is 31 cm at nadir view (worldview-3), but only in the panchromatic band. For colors, the resolution is still very good (1m24) but only large animals are visible. Only ...


19

As discussed here, very few satellites have ever orbited at a higher altitude than the moon, making images from lunar orbiters our highest imagers of eclipses from orbit. In fact, in order to get a 1:1 ratio of the apparent sizes of the Sun and the Earth you would have to be at ~4x the altitude of the moon - right near the edge of Earth's Hill Sphere. This ...


17

It was a secondary payload launched along with the first operational Transit navigation satellite (Transit 5BN-1) and was named, mundanely enough, Transit 5E-1. Mission goals were Measure omnidirectional flux of protons and electrons above certain threshold energies in order to determine the temporal variations in the radiation environment. Verify ...


15

To quickly summarise the answer: Nimbus 7 was the satellite involved - but it wasn't first. The ozone hole did not substantially materialise before the early-1980s - in retrospect the decline was visible, as this graph shows, but the catastrophic drop hadn't happened yet. Nimbus 7 was the first satellite (I think?) to carry an ozone spectrophotometer, which ...


14

Why around midnight... Because then the sun will be on the exact opposite site of the earth, from the satellites point-of-view. A=Satellite, E=Earth, S=Sun (not to scale ;) ) A-E----------------------S As a geostationary satellite, Himawari 8 is always above the same area, roughly over Indonesia & Papua New Guinea. from n2yo.com ...and during ...


14

Zenit flights continued until 1994 http://www.zarya.info/Diaries/Zenit/Zenitindex.php


13

The visual acuity of a healthy human eye is about 1 arcminute (a full circle is 360°, 1 ° is divided into 60 arcminutes). A football with a diameter of 220 mm at a distance of about 775 m subtends an angle of 1 arcminute. Or a tiny object of 0.2908 mm at a distance of 1 m. The Earth diameter is 12742 km. So the distance is 43,8 million km or 0.293 AU as @...


12

The earliest mention of the northern lights that I was able to find is the memories of the Voskhod-1 crew. «Наибольшее впечатление на всех нас произвело полярное сияние, которое нам удалось наблюдать в районе Антарктиды за несколько минут перед выходом из тени. Картина была такая: горизонт, затем тёмное небо, затем верхний слой яркости, подсвеченной луной, ...


11

International Space Station (ISS) now hosts the High Definition Earth Viewing (HDEV) experiment: The High Definition Earth Viewing (HDEV) experiment places four commercially available HD cameras on the exterior of the space station and uses them to stream live video of Earth for viewing online. The cameras are enclosed in a temperature specific ...


11

The highest frequency is gamma rays, dedicated to detecting nuclear explosions on Earth. These have provided some knowledge of space events as well, due to their low selectivity, but they are intended and dedicated to detecting nuclear explosions. The first series of satellites to do this detection was the Vela satellites, which detected x-rays, gamma rays, ...


11

I like @PearsonArtPhoto's answer, though the considerations about exposure time may not be correct. I was looking for something more visual. The website states an area of 0,53m² of the Van Gogh image, and since the original is 92.1 × 73.7 cm², the large version must be about 0.817km wide. During his year in space, Scott Kelly took tons of photos, one of ...


10

Beyond LEO, once you're a few Earth radii away, far enough to see the entire planet, its nightside is a featureless black, at least to conventional cameras, in every one of the dozens of photos at http://www.planetary.org/explore/space-topics/earth/pics-of-earth-by-planetary-spacecraft.html, even the ones that show Earth as only a slim crescent. Edit: As ...


10

Your comment on this answer has, I think, led me to understand what you are really asking about. What I am saying is that, presuming the inclination to be ZERO (Plane of orbit parallel to the equatorial plane), the entire plane keeps shifting from pole to pole - parallel to the equatorial plane. You want to move the orbit like this: If that is the right ...


9

This is a photo of Kilauea taken from the ISS, by Drew Feustel: I can't see any obvious lava. It is possible to see hot lava from the ISS. Here's a nighttime photo of an eruption of the Etna (in March 2017), which does show a lava flow (the dark red lines in the lower left quadrant):


9

This has happened at least once, on March 4, 2012, there was an experiment to do just that. YouTube: ISS FLASH PROJECT (lower your volume first)


8

Today, our highest-resolution gravitational maps of the Earth are from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) project, launched in 2002. That's not the case. The latest GRACE gravity model, which combines results from the GRACE and GOCE gravity missions and DTU13 is a 360x360 (degree and order) gravity model. On the other hand, the EGM2008 ...


8

Why would there be? The Apollo mission goal was to examine the Moon, not take pretty pictures of Earth. The seminal Earth image was taken by Apollo 8, this turned out to be an important image. But subsequent repeats wouldn't add much value to this. The astronauts had freedom in what they took pictures of, but they had a limited amount of photo magazines ...


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