It’s been more than a year since Hurricane Maria ran roughshod over Puerto Rico, but the island is still struggling to escape from under its long shadow. New imagery released on Monday at the American Geophysical Union’s annual meeting shows the challenges of getting the light back on. The insights the researchers reveal could be used to help respond to the next disaster on the island or anywhere throughout the Caribbean. The images are what NASA calls its “black marble.” It’s like the blue marble—satellite images of Earth in the daytime—but for nighttime viewing. To create them, NASA scientists looked at satellite images captured at night and weeded out fires, reflective surfaces like lakes that might catch the glimmer of the moon, and other natural sources of light. They took what was left—all the human sources of light—and overlaid it on a striking black map of Puerto Rico. The before-Maria image is vibrant, showing San Juan shining bright like a diamond, and the constellation of smaller cities like Ponce, Mayaguez, and Caguas lit up like Orion’s belt across the southern tier of the territory. But in images of Puerto Rico after Maria, which struck as a Category 5 monster in… Read full this story
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