Thursday, August 20, 2009
Okay, I'm partial. But isn't this Earth at Night great? The image is a composite of hundreds of photos of the earth at night taken from space by satellites. The lights show us areas of dense population and industrialization--cities and some huge urban swaths like our East Coast "BosWash" (from Boston to Washington, D.C.). You can click on the image in the link to make it bigger.
Put it up and ask students just to look at it for few minutes. What's their first response? (Might be "wow, some places are really lit up and others are really dark!") Ask them if they see any patterns in the light and dark areas. How about the coasts and rivers, where transportation is easier than, say, in the Himalayas (the dark area that sudden appears in the northeast of the Asian subcontinent). Can they find the Nile? The Sahara Desert? The Amazon rainforest? Why are these areas light or dark?
So much to see and discuss. Give it a try. I see some more every time I look. What do you and your students see?