Have You Ever Smushed Your Face On An Airplane Window At Night?

One of the reasons I prefer the window seat on the airplane is the view. Now weather, how well I slept and flight plans don’t always make it a wondrous experience, but there’s usually something worth checking out.

That said, I’m not sure how good I’d be at identifying cities at night from photos taken on the International Space Station.  With the cooperation of the space agencies participating in the station, Cities At Night is trying to do just that.  Coordinated by students and staff at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain, Cities at Night is looking for people to identify cities from photographs taken from about 200 miles up.  You’ll have more than the pictures to work with, as the location of the ISS is known.  That still makes for a lot of ground in the camera’s field of view, and the absence of identifiable geographic features can still make identification a difficult process.

There is more than a cataloging purpose to the project.  The organizers are concerned about light pollution, and by identifying the light sources, lighting efficiency can be measured and cities can be approached about measures to improve the effectiveness of their lighting while mitigating light pollution.

You can identify photos anonymously, but if you register you will receive credit for your identifications and future (as yet unspecified) recognition.

I think the photos are cool, but that’s just me.


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