Black Marble is a term that refers to a view of the Earth at night, as seen from space. The term was coined in the 1980s, when the first satellite images of the Earth at night became available. These images showed the Earth as a glowing orb, with bright areas representing cities and other areas of human activity.
The term “Black Marble” is often used to contrast with the “Blue Marble,” which refers to images of the Earth during the daytime. While the Blue Marble images show the Earth’s surface in vibrant colors, the Black Marble images show a more monochromatic view, with the bright lights of cities and other human settlements standing out against the darkness of the surrounding landscape.
Black Marble images are produced by satellite instruments that are sensitive to the light emitted by the Earth’s surface. These instruments can detect the light from cities, streets, and other human settlements, as well as the light reflected off the surface of the Earth by the Moon and stars.
Black Marble images are used for a variety of purposes, including mapping the distribution of human settlements, studying the impacts of urbanization on the environment, and analyzing patterns of human activity. They can also be used to identify areas of the Earth that are experiencing power outages or other types of disruption.
In addition to their practical uses, Black Marble images are also popular for their aesthetic appeal. They offer a unique perspective on the Earth and its patterns of human activity, and can be used to create stunning visualizations of the planet at night.