Diwali from Space … Or Not?
I recently received a mail from a friend referencing this image:
Diwali being the Festival of Lights, in a simple way the caption makes sense.
Except this has nothing to do with Diwali. As described here, this photo was indeed made by NASA, but it is a composite of satellite images taken over several years. The purpose is to show the growth of India from 1992 to 2003. White light in the photo indicates light-sources visible before 1992; blue are lights that became visible in 1992; green lights became visible from 1993 to 1998; and red lights became visible between 1999 and 2003.
Among the things you see in this composite is the development of Madhya Pradesh (still one of the poorer Indian states) in the late 90s, and sparser, recent development in the wilderness areas of Orissa and West Bengal.
The original NASA photos: Nighttime Lights Of India
BTW, here’s where I am: