Las Vegas Shines From Space

Photo courtesy of

Viewing Vegas from above … way above. | Photo courtesy of

Astronauts have been taking photos from the International Space Station since 2003. Recently, the Cities at Night website began cataloging these images as a way to draw attention to light pollution, which is Las Vegas’ favorite kind of pollution. Their featured orbital photo of Vegas—taken in February 2012, from a height of 213 nautical miles—provides a unique perspective on the largely unchecked sprawl of the past 20 years. You can clearly see the bright lights of the Strip; the rough edge of the west side, where we stopped building because we hit the rocks; and even the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which seems unnaturally bright for a mile-and-a-half of black asphalt. It’s kinda cool to know that Major Tom can see us, and proportionally unfortunate that we can’t see him through Las Vegas’ orange nighttime sky.

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