Our Art / NASA / City of Light

City of Light by NASA

City of Light, 2016


As midnight struck in Paris, astronauts aboard the International Space Station captured this photograph of the “City of Light.” The streetlights illuminate the city grids, highlighting a completely different set of visual features from those visible during the day. The thin black line of the winding Seine River is hard to detect until you focus on the strong meanders and the street lights on both banks. Paris’s great ring road, the Boulevard Périphérique, encloses the city center tracing where the city walls of Paris once stood. The brightest boulevard in the dense network of streets is the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, which juts out to the left of center with a star-like radiance.

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