As far as we know, Earth is the only planet in the universe that lights up at night. Now comes the first full-planet study of Earth after dark. Lights of Mankind: The Earth at Night As Seen From Space shares the awe-inspiring views that have caught the imagination of millions, showcasing more than 250 incredible photographs taken by astronauts on the International Space Station.
Recently released by Lyons Press, this stunning illustrated book documents the entire globe, featuring over 100 world-class cities and 70-plus regional panoramic images that show in striking detail the interplay of geography, man, and science. Covering every major city — from Paris to Milan, New York City to San Francisco, Rio de Janeiro to Rome — this is a photographic reference of the Earth at night, as seen from space.
Five astronauts — Clay Anderson, Sandra Mangus, Don Pettit, Mario Runco Jr., and Doug Wheelock — eloquently share their own perspectives on Earth at night, infusing this beautiful and informative book with eyewitness testimony. As Wheelock describes, “Earth presents itself as this raging explosion of light in a black, empty sea.”
At night our cities glow in patterns of light that speak volumes about how we inhabit this planet. The human story, including political conflicts and cultural proclivities, is highlighted from this perspective:
- Powerful images of the Korean Peninsula underscore in a glance the literal and metaphorical differences between democracy and a totalitarian state.
- Lights delineate the seemingly harmonious line of Gaza, Israel, Lebanon, and Jordan perched on a narrow strip of land along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean.
- Water as the lifeblood of civilization is clearly seen worldwide as the lights of major cities line sheltered harbors and navigable rivers.
Keeney’s picks for the “Seven Wonders of the Nighttime World” show truly awe-inducing panoramic images of population centers around the globe in all their glittering glory. His playful selection on “The Unintentional Artwork of Man” offers a counterpoint to the zodiac creatures of the ancient astronomers.
The book itself is a testament to new technology, very human sharing without face-to-face contact: inspired by an astronaut’s tweet, filled with digital images, refined via Twitter consultation, facilitated by interviews on FreeConferenceCall.com, and transmitted by YouSendIt.
L. Douglas Keeney is the author of eleven books on military or American history. He is a cofounder of The Military Channel, and has visited many of the cities in this book. He lives in Louisville, Kentucky.
Source: Globe Pequot Press