Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

High-resolution image of Berlin at night facilitates light pollution research

Date:
September 10, 2012
Source:
Freie Universitaet Berlin
Summary:
Researchers from Berlin have published an 878 megapixel aerial mosaic image of Berlin at night. With one pixel per square meter, the resulting map is the highest resolution image ever published of a city at night. The ecologists used the image to measure how much light comes from different types of land use areas, such as streets or parks.

Berlin at night.
Credit: Image courtesy of Freie Universitaet Berlin

Researchers from Berlin have published an 878 megapixel aerial mosaic image of Berlin at night. With one pixel per square meter, the resulting map is the highest resolution image ever published of a city at night. The ecologists from the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries and physicists from Freie Universität Berlin used the image to measure how much light comes from different types of land use areas, such as streets or parks. Their findings were recently published in the journal Remote Sensing of Environment.

The scientists are studying light pollution, the modification of natural light levels in the nocturnal environment due to artificial light from cities.. Their goals are to understand both what the sources of upwards directed light are, and to identify patterns in the distribution of the lights. To do this, they stitched together a total of 2647 aerial photographs taken from the research aircraft of Freie Universität Berlin's Institute for Space Sciences. The photos were taken in a series of 14 tracks at 3 km above the city in September of 2010.

A total of 42 percent of Berlin's area, including all of the city's central neighborhoods, was analyzed by comparing the light emitted from each point to land use information about the city. The scientists found that more than one third of the upward directed light came from streets, which are lit by streetlights, auto headlights, and advertisements. The city's sources of light were found to be unevenly distributed, with half of the total light coming from only one quarter of its area. Part of the reason for this is that Berlin still contains large unlit areas such as the Havel River, Grunewald, and Tempelhofer Park. The researchers noted that these areas are important dark resources for nocturnal animals. In total, the researchers found that such natural areas accounted for almost one third of the study area, but emitted only 6 percent of the total light.

The research was funded by two interdisciplinary projects, MILIEU (Freie Universität Berlin) and "Verlust der Nacht," a joint project of Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries and Freie Universität Berlin. "Verlust der Nacht" is funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Senate Department for Economics, Technology, and Research.

The mosaic image is freely downloadable at the PANGAEA data publisher: http://doi.pangaea.de/10.1594/PANGAEA.785492


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Freie Universitaet Berlin. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Helga U. Kuechly, Christopher C.M. Kyba, Thomas Ruhtz, Carsten Lindemann, Christian Wolter, Jürgen Fischer, Franz Hölker. Aerial survey and spatial analysis of sources of light pollution in Berlin, Germany. Remote Sensing of Environment, 2012; 126: 39 DOI: 10.1016/j.rse.2012.08.008

Cite This Page:

Freie Universitaet Berlin. "High-resolution image of Berlin at night facilitates light pollution research." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120910082302.htm>.
Freie Universitaet Berlin. (2012, September 10). High-resolution image of Berlin at night facilitates light pollution research. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120910082302.htm
Freie Universitaet Berlin. "High-resolution image of Berlin at night facilitates light pollution research." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120910082302.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Hundreds of Thousands Hit NYC Streets to Protest Climate Change

Hundreds of Thousands Hit NYC Streets to Protest Climate Change

AFP (Sep. 22, 2014) — Celebrities, political leaders and the masses rallied in New York and across the globe demanding urgent action on climate change, with organizers saying 600,000 people hit the streets. Duration: 01:19 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
French FM Urges 'powerful' Response to Global Warming

French FM Urges 'powerful' Response to Global Warming

AFP (Sep. 22, 2014) — French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Monday warned about the potential "catastrophe" if global warming was not dealt with in a "powerful" way. Duration: 01:08 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ongoing Drought, Fighting Put Somalia at Risk of Famine

Ongoing Drought, Fighting Put Somalia at Risk of Famine

AFP (Sep. 22, 2014) — After a year of poor rains and heavy fighting Somalia is again at risk of famine, just three years after food shortages killed 260,000 people. Duration: 01:10 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rockefeller Oil Heirs Switching To Clean Energy

Rockefeller Oil Heirs Switching To Clean Energy

Newsy (Sep. 22, 2014) — The Rockefellers — heirs to an oil fortune that made the family name a symbol of American wealth — are switching from fossil fuels to clean energy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins