This night photograph taken by astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) shows the location and size of cities at the east end of the Mediterranean Sea. The largest, brightest cluster is the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, a port set against the blackness of the Mediterranean Sea. Jerusalem, Israel’s capital city, and Amman, Jordan’s capital, are the next largest (with Amman’s lights having a whiter tone), followed by Beersheba.
Bright but narrow lines that snake between the cities are highways. The darker areas with smaller patches of lights are mostly agricultural and pastoral areas of Israel, Sinai, the West Bank, and Jordan. A wide, almost black zone between Jerusalem and Amman trends north-south across the right half of the image; it is the long valley that includes the Jordan River and the Dead Sea.
Click here to view an astronaut image of the same area in daylight. And read more here about a new NASA crowd-sourcing project to identify cities and towns in night images from the space station.