There’s a reason they call Paris the ‘City of Light’

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From NASA’s Earth Observatory, where you can find a much larger version of the image, a stunning look at Paris at night:

Around local midnight, astronauts aboard the International Space Station took this photograph of Paris, often referred to as the “City of Light.” The second image below is a close-up drawn from the same photo.

The pattern of the street grid dominates at night, providing a completely different set of visual features from those visible during the day. For instance, the winding Seine River is a main visual cue by day, but here the thin black line of the river is hard to detect until you focus on the strong meanders and the street lights on both banks.

The brightest boulevard in the dense network of streets is the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, the historical axis of the city, as designed in the 17th century. Every year on Bastille…

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