Satellite instruments, like the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) aboard the NOAA/NASA Suomi NPP satellite, can see the planet in a variety of different ways, each revealing unique features about the world in which we live.
The VIIRS instrument’s 22 channels measure different bands of the electromagnetic spectrum allowing for a vast array of imagery.

This image, captured on September 13, 2016, shows the difference in “skin temperature” — the heat reflected off the Earth’s surfaces — among mountains and valleys, urban heat islands and colder low-population areas, and ocean current variations (including the warm Gulf Stream curling off of the coast). The white and blue areas are the coldest, while yellow areas are the hottest.

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