At night, the Earth is a sea of dark with patches of light from city lights. Increasing levels of light pollution from carelessly angled streetlights are dimming the view of stars for even some of the most remote telescopes.
The bright lights of towns and cities are clearly visible in this photo of Earth at night
A bright country
At night, the East Coast of the U.S. is filled with lights, while the West Coast is slightly darker. But even remote telescope locations in Arizona are experiencing dimmer skies due to light pollution.
The British Isles were lit up at night during the Summer Olympics this year.
The Nile Delta
The Nile Delta is a river of light in a sea of darkness in this photo of Africa at night.
South Asian sky
The night skies are bright during this year's Diwali, India's festival of lights.
East Coast Blackout
As superstorm Sandy ravages the East coast, blackouts in Manhattan and other East Coast cities are clearly visible from space.
Night lights aren't the only things visible from space. Wildfires blazing across Siberia can be seen from above in this August 31, 2012 image.
While night lights usually indicate dense populations, the divide between an illuminated South Korea and a dark South Korea reveals how much economic development can affect the view from space.
South America's East Coast
South America's East Coast is alight in this photo taken on July 20, 2012.
Tia has interned at Science News, Wired.com, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and has written for the Center for Investigative Reporting, Scientific American, and ScienceNow. She has a master's degree in bioengineering from the University of Washington and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California Santa Cruz.