NASA night Earth photos: VIIRS NASA-NOAA satellite sensor captures images of Earth in the dark

Ever wonder what Earth looks like while you're sleeping? NASA is here to help.

New, incredible images from a recently launched NASA-NOAA satellite shows just that.

The images, which were released Wednesday, highlight the bright lights of popular cities.

"Unlike humans, the Earth never sleeps," NASA said in a release.

According to NASA, the new sensor, the day-night band of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), is sensitive enough to detect the nocturnal glow produced by Earth's atmosphere and the light from a single ship in the sea.

Satellites in the U.S. Defense Meteorological Satellite Program have been making observations with low-light sensors for 40 years. But the VIIRS day-night band can better detect and resolve Earth's night lights, NASA says.

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