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Space photos of the day: Earth from above

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Europe: Man-made lights highlight particularly developed or populated areas of the Earth's surface, including the seaboards of Europe. Large cities are often located near rivers or oceans so that they can exchange goods cheaply by boat. This image is a composite of hundreds of pictures made by the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP), which currently operates four satellites carrying the Operational Linescan System (OLS) in low-altitude polar orbits.

PHOTO: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

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