Last Updated: 09/13/2012*

As London plans for the nighttime closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games, here’s a unique night view of Britain’s capital taken from space by the Raytheon-built Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite.

VIIRS Captures the Bright Lights of London sidebar
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The 2012 games will close on Sunday with a show of lights, song and dance entitled “A Symphony of British Music.” Featuring more than 4,100 performers and the memorable extinguishing of the Olympic Flame, the event will be watched by billions of viewers across the globe.

VIIRS is mounted on the Suomi-NPP satellite. The sensor used its day-night band, which is specifically designed to capture low light or night-time imagery, to take this breathtaking shot on March 27, 2012. 

From 512 miles above the Earth and traveling at 16,640 miles per hour, VIIRS has captured iconic images like the Blue Marble 2012, a stunning high-definition portrait of Earth, and the Blue Marble 2012 – Arctic View.

VIIRS rises from the south and sets in the north on the daylight side of Earth which allows for consistent image angles, lighting and data capture. Successive orbits overlap throughout the day, allowing the sensor to acquire images of large swaths of Earth measuring 1,900 miles across. Stitched together, these swaths result in a complete image of the globe.



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