Contact: Morgan Kelly
Caption: A team led by Princeton University researchers found that satellite images of nighttime lights can be used to pinpoint disease hotspots in developing nations by revealing the boom in population density that typically coincides with seasonal epidemics. The researchers correlated increases in brightness in three cities in Niger with the onset of seasonal measles epidemics. Measles cases in Niger spike in the September to May dry season as people migrate to urban areas from the agricultural countryside. A three-dimensional rendering shows the amount of brightness for urban areas in Niger over the course of an average year, with the height of each spike representing total brightness (the color gradient is for emphasis). The three tallest spikes indicate the cities the researchers studied: from left, Niamey, Niger's capital and largest city; Maradi; and Zinder.
Credit: (Image by Science/AAAS)
Usage Restrictions: None
Related news release: Princeton study: Nighttime images help track disease from the sky