Crew aboard the International Space Station photographed the city lights of Naples and the Campania region of southern Italy. The Naples region is one of the brightest in the country; roughly 3 million people live in and around this metropolitan area.
The different colors of lights in the scene reflect some of the history of development in the area. The green lights are mercury vapor bulbs, an older variety that has been replaced in newer developments by orange sodium bulbs (yellow-orange). To the northeast, the lightless gaps between the homes and businesses are agricultural fields. The bright yellow-orange complex amidst the fields is the CIS emporium, the largest commercial retail facility in Europe. The large black circular area in the photo is Mount Vesuvius, the only active volcano on Europe’s mainland.
Photo Credit: NASA