India at night?

Claim: this photo shows India at night during the Diwali lights festival

The claim is false. The picture is a composite showing the change in illumination over India from 1992-2003.

Satellite data from 2003 is colored red, 1998 is colored green and 1992 is blue. The three data sets are composited to form the image. Nighttime lights on the map that are white are lights that were present throughout the entire period. Areas that are marked by red have only appeared in 2003. Areas colored green and blue were only present in 1998 and 1992 respectively but are no longer visible. This image was created by the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP), National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, USA.

Source: Sciencephoto library.

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