Berlin at Night

May 05, 2011


Image Creator: Institute for Space Sciences, Freie Universität Berlin
Summary Author: Christopher Kyba; Christopher's Website

The mosaic image above shows the city of Berlin, Germany at night. This image is comprised of approximately 3,000 aerial photos taken in 14 tracks across the city, at a height of about 9,500 ft (2,896 m), between 8:40 and 11:20 p.m. (local time). It was put together by a team of light pollution researchers from the Free University of Berlin and the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries. The image has been downscaled to approximately 66 ft (20 m) resolution,but it still shows far more detail than the highest resolution publicly available. For full image resolution click here. When the analysis is complete and the final image is published, it will appear in color and should have a resolution of approximately three feet (one meter).

Light pollution, long the bane of amateur and professional astronomers, has more recently been recognized to have adverse impacts on individual organisms and ecosystems. While many organisms are affected by direct nighttime light (e.g. turtle hatchlings, insects) some organisms are affected by skyglow, the indirect glow of the sky itself (e.g. zooplankton and the fish that prey upon them). Researchers hope to use this image and related data to build a precise 3-d model of the sky glow of Berlin. Photo taken on September 11, 2010.

Photo details: Camera Maker is Finger Lakes Instrumentation;  FLI Microline 4022 camera; sigma 24mm lens, F1.8 DG; aperture of f/5.6; exposure time of 0.04 s (1/25);  FLI luminous filter; 370-700 nm
wavelength range