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PHOTOS: New stunning nighttime views of Earth unveiled

In this image provided by NASA, the United States of America is seen at night from a composite assembled from data acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite in April and October 2012. What's that big bright spot far north of the Front Range lights? That's the Bakken oil formation in northwest North Dakota, where oil and gas drilling is booming. The image was made possible by the new satellite's "day-night band" of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), which detects light in a range of wavelengths from green to near-infrared and uses filtering techniques to observe dim signals such as city lights, gas flares, auroras, wildfires, and reflected moonlight. (AP Photo/NASA) Photo by