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Yes, NASA Can See Your Christmas Lights

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It’s not just your neighbors and tourists who can see your Christmas lights. The combined effect of holiday lights in cities and suburbs is so powerful that the difference from normal lighting conditions can even be seen from space.

NASA reports that satellite images show some big cities shine between 20 percent and 30 percent brighter during the holiday season. And out in the suburbs, some areas shine as much as 50 percent brighter.

Miguel Roman, a research physical scientist at NASA Goddard and one of the leaders of the study, said it is visible in almost every urban community.

“It’s a near ubiquitous signal. Despite being ethnically and religiously diverse, we found that the U.S. experiences a holiday increase that is present across most urban communities. These lighting patterns are tracking a national shared tradition.”

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