What the world’s biggest cities look like at night

In a bid to study light pollution, the Cities at Night project has compiled and analysed thousands of photos of major metropolises at night, taken from the International Space Station.

Working in conjunction with NASA, researchers discovered that the “source of the diffuse glow around cities visible from space” is produced by street lighting.

The images in the project’s gallery make for spectacular viewing, and we have selected several images of major international and local cities for your viewing pleasure.

South African cities

Cape Town

Cape Town
Cape Town

Durban

Durban
Durban

Johannesburg

Johannesburg
Johannesburg

Pretoria

Pretoria
Pretoria

International cities

Berlin

Berlin
Berlin

London

London
London

Mexico City

Mexico City
Mexico City

New York

New York
New York

Paris

Paris
Paris

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro

Shanghai

Shanghai
Shanghai

Sydney

Sydney
Sydney

Tokyo

Tokyo
Tokyo

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What the world’s biggest cities look like at night