Nighttime Light is very popular among artists. You can 3D renderings for the dark side of the Earth as examples below. Feel free to download examples in standard 2K and 4K resolutions, great for desktop background!

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This high-resolution NTL map is derived from 2020 VNL V20 masked median product. Here are some features for this product to make it instantly applicable in most artistic applications.

  • The latest iteration of EOG VNL product.
  • The latest annual VNL composite.
  • The coverage had been extended from original 75N~65S to 90N~90S for easy wrapping on sphere.
  • Radiance unit had been applied square root stretch from 0 to 75 nW/cm2/sr, then linearly scaled to 8-bit grey scale. This brings out dim areas while maintaining the overall gradient look.
  • Supplied in generic PNG format.


This data is distributed under CC-BY-SA license. 

This license allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format, so long as attribution is given to the creator. The license allows for commercial use. If you remix, adapt, or build upon the material, you must license the modified material under identical terms.


When citing or attributing, please follow the lines below.

This product was made utilizing VIIRS Nighttime Light (VNL) data produced by the Earth Observation Group, Payne Institute for Public Policy, Colorado School of Mines.

EOG logos are available HERE.

Special Thanks

EOG is grateful for DevilFX Lesse F. to share the shader nodes in Blender to create physically correct Earth.