earth science

In photos: Nasa releases stunning images of Earth’s night lights, including in India

The maps show a clear view of human settlements across the globe.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration on Wednesday released global maps of Earth at night, including stunning images of India. The global maps provide a clear view of human settlements across the planet.

The satellite images of Earth, which are often referred to as “night lights”, are produced every decade or so. A research team at Nasa headed by Earth scientist Miguel Roman of Goddard Space Flight Centre in the US is working to find out if night lights imagery could be produced and updated yearly, monthly or even everyday.

“By studying Earth at night, researchers can investigate how cities expand, monitor light intensity to estimate energy use and economic activity, and aid in disaster response,” the organisation said on its website.

The images are captured using the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite. The instrument detects photons of light reflected from Earth’s surface and atmosphere in 22 different wavelengths, Nasa said.

Nasa also released a new global map showing the difference in night lights between 2012 and 2016. The difference in the two images highlights how populations and cities have changed in the past few years.

India night lights in 2012. Photo Credit: Nasa
India night lights in 2012. Photo Credit: Nasa
India night lights in 2016. Photo Credit: Nasa
India night lights in 2016. Photo Credit: Nasa
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Chicago night lights in 2012. Photo Credit: Nasa
Chicago night lights in 2012. Photo Credit: Nasa
Chicago night lights in 2016. Photo Credit: Nasa
Chicago night lights in 2016. Photo Credit: Nasa
These three composite images provide full-hemisphere views of Earth at night. Photo Credit: Nasa
These three composite images provide full-hemisphere views of Earth at night. Photo Credit: Nasa
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Following a mountaineer as he reaches the summit of Mount Everest

Accounts from Vikas Dimri’s second attempt reveal the immense fortitude and strength needed to summit the Everest.

Vikas Dimri made a huge attempt last year to climb the Mount Everest. Fate had other plans. Thwarted by unfavourable weather at the last minute, he came so close and yet not close enough to say he was at the top. But that did not deter him. Vikas is back on the Everest trail now, and this time he’s sharing his experiences at every leg of the journey.

The Everest journey began from the Lukla airport, known for its dicey landing conditions. It reminded him of the failed expedition, but he still moved on to Namche Bazaar - the staging point for Everest expeditions - with a positive mind. Vikas let the wisdom of the mountains guide him as he battled doubt and memories of the previous expedition. In his words, the Everest taught him that, “To conquer our personal Everest, we need to drop all our unnecessary baggage, be it physical or mental or even emotional”.

Vikas used a ‘descent for ascent’ approach to acclimatise. In this approach, mountaineers gain altitude during the day, but descend to catch some sleep. Acclimatising to such high altitudes is crucial as the lack of adequate oxygen can cause dizziness, nausea, headache and even muscle death. As Vikas prepared to scale the riskiest part of the climb - the unstable and continuously melting Khumbhu ice fall - he pondered over his journey so far.

His brother’s diagnosis of a heart condition in his youth was a wakeup call for the rather sedentary Vikas, and that is when he started focusing on his health more. For the first time in his life, he began to appreciate the power of nutrition and experimented with different diets and supplements for their health benefits. His quest for better health also motivated him to take up hiking, marathon running, squash and, eventually, a summit of the Everest.

Back in the Himalayas, after a string of sleepless nights, Vikas and his team ascended to Camp 2 (6,500m) as planned, and then descended to Base Camp for the basic luxuries - hot shower, hot lunch and essential supplements. Back up at Camp 2, the weather played spoiler again as a jet stream - a fast-flowing, narrow air current - moved right over the mountain. Wisdom from the mountains helped Vikas maintain perspective as they were required to descend 15km to Pheriche Valley. He accepted that “strength lies not merely in chasing the big dream, but also in...accepting that things could go wrong.”

At Camp 4 (8,000m), famously known as the death zone, Vikas caught a clear glimpse of the summit – his dream standing rather tall in front of him.

It was the 18th of May 2018 and Vikas finally reached the top. The top of his Everest…the top of Mount Everest!

Watch the video below to see actual moments from Vikas’ climb.

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Vikas credits his strength to dedication, exercise and a healthy diet. He credits dietary supplements for helping him sustain himself in the inhuman conditions on Mount Everest. On heights like these where the oxygen supply drops to 1/3rd the levels on the ground, the body requires 3 times the regular blood volume to pump the requisite amount of oxygen. He, thus, doesn’t embark on an expedition without double checking his supplements and uses Livogen as an aid to maintain adequate amounts of iron in his blood.

Livogen is proud to have supported Vikas Dimri on his ambitious quest and salutes his spirit. To read more about the benefits of iron, see here. To read Vikas Dimri’s account of his expedition, click here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Livogen and not by the Scroll editorial team.