There has been a spate of ‘news’ reporting recently based around a night-time image, taken from the International Space Station, of North Korea and surrounding countries. North Korea certainly has less lighting at night compared to South Korea and the part of China it borders, but does this make it unusual in the world? Here are a few sample headlines:
Yahoo: Nasa photo shows North Korea is in the dark
National Geographic: New Space Station Photos Show North Korea at Night, Cloaked in Darkness
HuffPost: North Korea At Night Is A Sea Of Darkness
Fox News: North Korea left in Dark Ages in video from International Space Station
Even the BBC’s Science Editor, David Shukman, got in on the act with ‘The infinite darkness of North Korea’. You’d think a scientist would be more careful with the use of the world ‘infinite’.
(Hat tip to Media Lens for that one)
And there have been plenty of folk happy to tweet and retweet the image, spreading the ‘news’ that North Korea is in darkness.
It takes just a quick Google Image search to find satellite images of the whole world taken at night. Such as this one (click to see it larger):
- Is North Korea unusally dark in the world?
- What does the quantity of night-time light say about a country?
- Why did the photo of North Korea make the ‘news’?