The city of Dubai is the largest metropolitan area in the emirate of
Dubai, one of the member states of the United Arab Emirates. Dubai is
located along the southern Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula, and
its signature city is known for high profile architectural and
development projects. Among the most notable is the Palm Jumeirah, a man-made
peninsula and surrounding islands built from over 50 million cubic
meters of sand. Three other island projects, two similar to Palm
Jumeirah and another crafted to look like a map of the world, are
also underway along the Dubai coastline.
This nighttime astronaut photograph of the city of Dubai was taken at
approximately 2 a.m. local time on September 11, 2009. Orange sodium
vapor lights trace the major highways and street grid in and around the
metropolitan area, while grey-white mercury vapor lamps fill in the
commercial and residential areas. The lighted islands and peninsula of
Palm Jumeirah are clearly visible along the coastline. A spiral
pattern of lights on the southeastern fringe of the urban area is a
camel racetrack. Nighttime images like these are useful to climate
modelers, urban planners, and geographers as they allow for simple
definition of urban (densely lit) and rural (sparely lit) areas.
Astronaut photograph ISS020-E-39932
was acquired on September 11, 2009, with a Nikon D3 digital camera
fitted with an 80 mm lens, and is provided by the ISS Crew Earth
Observations experiment and Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, Johnson
Space Center. The image was taken by the Expedition
20 crew. The image in this article has been cropped and enhanced to
improve contrast. Lens artifacts have been removed. The International Space
Station Program supports the laboratory to help astronauts take
pictures of Earth that will be of the greatest value to scientists and
the public and to make those images freely available on the Internet.
Additional images taken by astronauts and cosmonauts can be viewed at
the NASA/JSC Gateway to Astronaut
Photography of Earth. Caption by William L. Stefanov, NASA-JSC.