NASA's Black Marble Maps Puerto Rico's Energy Use After Hurricane Maria

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At night, a satellite's view of Earth lights up in bright strings of roads dotted with pearl-like cities and towns as humans take center stage in artificial light. In Puerto Rico, during Hurricane Maria, the entire island's lights went out.

In the days, weeks, and months that followed, research physical scientist Miguel Roman at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and his colleagues combined NASA's Black Marble night lights data product from the NASA/NOAA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite with USGS-NASA Landsat data and Google's OpenStreetMap to develop a neighborhood-scale map of energy use in communities across Puerto Rico as the electricity grid was slowly restored. They then analyzed the relationship between restoration rates in terms of days without electricity and the remoteness of communities from major cities.

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Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Matthew Radcliff

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