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The Night the Lights Went Out Over Japan

The earthquake and tsunami that impacted Japan on March 11, 2011 crippled the nation's power supplies, leaving many areas without, or with less, electricity. On March 12, 2011 the U.S. Defense Meteorological Satellite (DMSP) passed over Japan and was able to detect the nighttime lights from the region. The data are shown here in comparison to the average nighttime lights of Japan taken from several DMSP satellite passes during 2010. Much lower light levels can be seen in many areas of Japan. Sendai, near the 9.0 earthquake epicenter and also the area hardest hit by the tsunami, is almost completely blacked out.

The NOAA Satellite and Information Service manages the command, control, and data processing of the DMSP satellites. Data comes from the Operational Linescan System sensors. Nighttime lights imagery is one of the many data products generated by DMSP. For example, the microwave sensors onboard the satellite have provided meteorologists with the longest continuous data archive for many variables on Earth, including sea ice concentration and atmospheric moisture.

The Night the Lights Went Out Over Japan
Referral:More information on the DMSP satellite at NOAA/NGDC
Copyright:National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Keywords:nighttime lights, DMSP, OLS, 2011.03.25, Japan, tsunami
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The Night the Lights Went Out Over Japan
Nighttime Lights Over Japan Before
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