Hadfield on Earth Hour: ‘When we turn our lights down, nature lights up the sky’

A collection of city snaps from the International Space Station


Chris Hadfield on Earth Hour: ‘When we turn our lights down, nature lights up the sky’

To mark Earth Hour, a collection of city snaps from the International Space Station

Storified by Maclean’s Magazine· Sat, Mar 23 2013 20:36:43

Good Morning, Earth! I’ll try and photograph people’s efforts during Eartrh Hour today. It’s our planet, let’s each help a bit.Chris Hadfield
As it turns out, orbital mechanics don’t support seeing lights out efforts. But a richness of "before" night photos coming for inspiration.Chris Hadfield
Boston, Massachusetts. Everyone down there prepared to shine a little less brightly for an hour? <a href="http://t.co/CKufTVooAW" class="">pic.twitter.com/CKufTVooAW</a>Chris Hadfield
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with the lights of the city piercing through the clouds. <a href="http://t.co/IDhikg3bEg" class="">pic.twitter.com/IDhikg3bEg</a>Chris Hadfield
New York City, lit up like a bulb. The Statue of Liberty is clearly visible in the night from above. <a href="http://t.co/6ws3CTLx5P" class="">pic.twitter.com/6ws3CTLx5P</a>Chris Hadfield
Chicago, a bright spot on the tip of Lake Michigan, glowing through the clouds. <a href="http://t.co/ozMHff9OZb" class="">pic.twitter.com/ozMHff9OZb</a>Chris Hadfield
Detroit and Windsor, where Michigan meets Ontario. Spiderwebs of light expanding out from the dark river border. <a href="http://t.co/9trq3m7OZK" class="">pic.twitter.com/9trq3m7OZK</a>Chris Hadfield
Las Vegas, with the Strip distinctly standing out from the rest of the city, even from orbit. <a href="http://t.co/lJVGC1lzGw" class="">pic.twitter.com/lJVGC1lzGw</a>Chris Hadfield
San Francisco and the whole Bay Area. Taken at an angle, it is easy to see the entire layout of the bay by night. <a href="http://t.co/7CMf4C9OfW" class="">pic.twitter.com/7CMf4C9OfW</a>Chris Hadfield
Baltimore, Maryland, bright and clear. The major landmarks of the city all shining up through the night. <a href="http://t.co/j3CqEqay8t" class="">pic.twitter.com/j3CqEqay8t</a>Chris Hadfield
Christchurch, NZ, taken just after Earth Hour ended. The perfect grid system of the downtown core is clearly visible. <a href="http://t.co/KSHzByT5SS" class="">pic.twitter.com/KSHzByT5SS</a>Chris Hadfield
Tonight’s Finale: Dawn sneaking in under the Northern Lights. When we turn our lights down, nature lights up the sky. <a href="http://t.co/GyFmRcxzhg" class="">pic.twitter.com/GyFmRcxzhg</a>Chris Hadfield


Hadfield on Earth Hour: ‘When we turn our lights down, nature lights up the sky’

  1. All of these photos from above miss the point. Too much electric lighting is polluting the skies – light pollution. This means that we cannot see what we used to when we look UP. I recall in the 1970’s being able to count thousands of stars (not that I actually counted them!). Today I am lucky if there are dozens visible. This is not due to smog or air pollution, but light pollution – too many lights! The glare from a major city ruins astronomy for hundreds of miles.

  2. I switched on every light, air conditioning unit and all possible electrical items in my house to celebrate the greatest source of human liberation in the 20th century. Every material social advance of the 20th century depended on the proliferation of inexpensive and reliable electricity.

    • Surely you can understand that if we don’t learn how to use this wonderful discovery/invention more wisely and frugally we will destroy this beautiful little gem of a planet on which we all depend? What can it hurt to be more careful and economical?!

  3. direct this message so Sussex also Mr.Hadfield,, a gov. that defunds enviromental protection isnt good for the health of our country

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