Flights

Via Dr Isis, a fascinating look at global flight patterns over 24 hours. It really is worth 72 seconds of your life to watch this.

I’m fascinated by the patterns – the explosion of lights as the day advances over North America and Europe, and the waves of busy-ness back and forth across the Tasman. You can see all those wretched pre-dawn departures from and late night arrivals into New Zealand, so scheduled to enable airlines to cram four flights into a “day.”

It also put me in mind of the Astronomy Picture of the Day showing Earth at night. (Click here to get the best version of the picture.)

800px-Earthlights_dmspImage source: WikiCommons

It’s not so much the presence as the absence of light that is interesting; in Africa, you can see the development along the Nile, and then the great blank across most of the continent. Global flight patterns show many of the same gaps.

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4 comments on “Flights

  1. M-H says:

    Fascinating. Thanks Deborah. I watched the video five times, and spent another five minutes staring at Earth at Night.

  2. Carol says:

    I’m fascinated too, Deborah. Thanks!
    I used to have a copy of the Earth at Night poster on my office wall. It’s a very graphic way of seeing the human footprint.

  3. stef says:

    I always was always amazed by the North Asia at night map.

  4. M-H says:

    Updates – I have been showing this to people all day. It’s led to some really interesting discussions.

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