Mind-Boggling! Check Out 20 Impossible Views Of Planet Earth From Space At Night

You have to
admit that there is a special—yet strange—feeling when you have the opportunity
to look at our planet from the perspective of astronauts in space.

overwhelming feeling takes over after seeing how beautiful our world is from
space at night.

These views
show Earth as it really is a naked planet, stripped from religion, borders, and

Anton Balazh/Shutterstock

The entire
planet is seen as one, and we finally see that we are as one.

The only
thing that remains, in addition to Earth’s unprecedented natural beauty are
artificial lights which are spread out across the entire planet, covering
almost its entire surface.

The view is
spectacular, it’s unique and mysterious.

Just look at
this image of sparkling like a star in the night sky with artificial light.

But not
everything is at it seems.

In fact, the
above image is in fact not as it seems. It wasn’t taken from outer space, and
it is not an actual image of Earth, despite the fact that the above image, as
many others have been shared across social networks and different websites as
original images from Earth from Space.

You can see
the difference between a real image taken from space and the above photographs
if we take a look at an image of the Iberian Peninsula snapped by an astronaut
aboard the International Space Station in July 2014.

The stunning
image of the Iberian Penineusla—with those strange yet beautiful lights isn’t
fake. It is a computer rendering created by a talented artist called Anton Balazh (Антон Балаж) who lives in St. Petersburg, Russia.

In an interview with Tech Inside, Anton said he liked working with 3D programs and
thought a model of Earth would be fun to make, so he set off to make, although
it wasn’t an overnight job.

According to
Balazh, he spent several years working on his project making more realistic and
more complicated.

In order to
create a computer rendering as real as possible, he turned to NASA’s satellite
images and downloaded several gigabytes of images from NASA’s Visible Earth

After that,
Balazh spliced in bathymetry data for a realistic-looking ocean floor and even
sea level data for in order to come up with real coastlines.

But there
was something missing. The Earth looked flat (as in barren mountainless). In
order to solve this issue, he used NASA-based topography data and lifted up
mountain ranges that would normally look flat from space.

Using data
collected by the Suomi NPP satellite, Balazh layered in city lights.

There are
many different tweaks
’ to polish a shot, he says in the interview: amping up
city lights, raising mountains, or casting artificial moonlight in just the
right way.

In order to
understand just how complex his work is, each image has about ’20-30 million
polygons’ to form realistic 3D terrain.

Rendering a
single image takes … tens of hours on a multi-core computer with 32 GB of RAM,

said Balazh.

Anton has
created several other mind-boggling views of Earth with the help of computers.