NASA Shares Hatteras & Ocracoke Blackout Images

NASA shared these amazing images from the Hatteras & Ocracoke blackout. Below is an explanation from their site.

If a power outage spans a large area, there is the chance it can be seen from space. The outage pictured here shows the darkness that fell across parts of North Carolina’s Outer Banks in late July 2017.

The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite captured nighttime images of Hatteras and Ocracoke islands. They show the barrier islands on July 27 (before the blackout) and on July 30, 2017. has additional insights into these images, Outer Banks Power Outage Seen from Space by NASA Satellite.

Acquired by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite, NASA’s Earth Observatory shared the images of Ocracoke and Hatteras islands after they were taken on July 27 and 30. In the first image, light can be seen on both of the thin islands, but after the power goes out, spotting Ocracoke and Hatteras would be impossible without NASA’s labels on the picture.

The lights have been out on the two islands since last Thursday morning, when steel casing was inadvertently driven into an underground transmission line as PCL Construction continued work on the new Bonner Bridge at Oregon Inlet, according to With Hatteras and Ocracoke islands in the dark, officials ordered 10,000 visitors to evacuate the islands, and some estimates say as many as 50,000 will be displaced during the outage which may take weeks to fix, NPR reported.


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