From shimmering cities to the dark side of the world: Stunning satellite images which show how we use light and energy
At night, London is a burning bright spot, consuming enough energy to power Ireland with its light show.
But as these stunning images from space show, we in the West are guilty of wasting energy and polluting light on a staggering scale.
Now compare the Third World countries in Africa, South America and large swathes of Asia which lie in almost complete darkness.
Waste of energy: A satellite image of Britain and Europe at night showing the light show from space, with far greater uses of energy in the major cities
Light show: An image of the U.S. from space highlighting the staggering light pollution, especially on the east coast, in Houston, Texas, and San Francisco and Los Angeles on the west coast
In darkness: Third World countries in Africa barely register any light at night in contrast to the West, apart from an amazing trail of light from Cairo running down the Nile in Egypt
Each year London consumes 150 thousand gigawatt hours of energy, equal to the consumption of nations such as Portugal and Greece.
Campaignershave warned that 50 per cent of the UK”s population cannot see many stars because the night skies are “saturated” with light pollution.
The pictures created by scientist Felix Pharand-Deschnes using data gathered by satellites highlight the contrast between the first andthird world.
They show Egypt”s densely populated River Nile as it scorches a path through the darkness of Northern Africa while Japan is wall-to-wall light.
Americashines brightly, but south of its border the countries are almost lightless and in central Asia, India and Australia barely any light is registered.
Global view: A satellite picture of the energy waste in the West and darkness in the rest of world showing how much more energy the rich world uses than other areas
Contrast: This shot of the Western Hemisphere demonstrates a higher use of energy in Europe compared to Africa and Asia, and incredible bursts of light in London, Paris and Moscow
Desolate: While much of the United States and Canada are awash with light, the vast areas to the north are almost invisible on this map