Speed Reads

Oh, holy (bright) night

This is what your Christmas lights look like from space

This is what your Christmas lights look like from space

Since 2011, a new satellite has been keeping watch on Earth's use of lights on a daily basis. Scientists noticed that over the holidays, night lights, particularly in the suburbs, increase and are up to 50 percent brighter than during the rest of the year. The team first noticed this change in light usage over the Middle East during the month of Ramadan.

The below image is a composite of the 6 weeks between Thanksgiving and the New Year showing where lights at night are shining brightest (in green). Shout-outs to Southern California, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, Baltimore, and Miami for making the rest of us look like Grinches. --Lauren Hansen