Feeds

Rosetta spies nightlife on our sleeping planet

Goodnight, Earth

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

What better way to start a Friday than with a stupendously glorious picture of our planet? Well, we couldn't think of many better ways that are legal, so we've gone for the picture option.

The Earth's night side, as seen by Rosetta. Credit: ESA

The Earth's night side, as seen by Rosetta. Credit: ESA

This is a composite image of the night side of the Earth, as seen by the cameras on board Rosetta, the European Space Agency's comet-chasing mission.

Although Rosetta launched in 2004, it has been roaming the inner solar system, gathering gravitational boosts for its journey out to the comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko. This latest series of pictures was taken as it swung past the Earth on 13 November.

The picture of the pinpricks of light, betraying humanity's 24-hour existence to anyone who might be watching, was taken with the craft's OSIRIS wide angle camera. The spacecraft was roughly 80,000km above the Indian Ocean, about two hours before its closest approach to Earth.

You can't see it very well in the small picture we've posted, but the light crescent at the bottom of the Earth reveals some small details of the planet's surface, too. Click here for the full size picture, so you too can bask in a sliver of Earthlight before you get on with anything too strenuous today. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer
And, um, don't sleep with other men. If that's what worries you
Voyager 1 now EIGHTEEN LIGHT HOURS from home
Almost 20 BEEELION kilometres from Sol
HUGE SHARK as big as a WWII SUBMARINE died out, allowing whales to exist
Who'd win a fight: Megalodon or a German battleship?
Jim Beam me up, Scotty! WHISKY from SPAAACE returns to Earth
They're insured for $1m, before you thirsty folks make plans
ROGUE SAIL BOAT blocks SPACE STATION PODULE blastoff
Er, we think our ISS launch beats your fishing expedition
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
BAE points electromagnetic projectile at US Army
Railguns for 'Future fighting vehicle'
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.