The 20th World Cup kicked off on June 12 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and a satellite image captured a stunning nighttime view of the host country.
Brazil is home to about 200 million people. It stretches about 2,485 miles (4,000 square kilometers) from coast to coast, and covers an area of about 3.3 million square miles (8.5 million square km), making it the fifth-largest country in the world in terms of area. An estimated 600,000 travelers will flock to the country to watch the World Cup games. [Stunning Soccer: The World Cup 2014 from Space (Photos)]
Like the Olympics, the World Cup is held every four years. This is the first time since 1950 that Brazil has hosted the games. Thirty-two teams will compete for a spot in the final game, to be held in Rio de Janeiro. The Brazilian team has made it to the final match seven times, and won five of them; even so, the team has not won a World Cup since 2002.
The newly released image was captured using the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite. The satellite instrument uses a "day-night band" that can detect a wide range of wavelengths of light. In fact, VIIRS can pick up dim light 100,000 times fainter than regular visible light detectors, making it possible to capture moonlight, nighttime city lights and even layers of clouds.
Unlike a regular camera, VIIRS captures images by scanning an area several times and then translating it into millions of pixels. The "day-night band" analyzes each pixel and determines whether low, medium or high exposure is needed. If a pixel is particularly bright, the satellite will use a low-exposure mode so the image does not look saturated. If a pixel is faint, the satellite uses high exposure to brighten it.
Copyright 2014 LiveScience, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Thunderstorms have the potential to impact Independence Day fireworks and outings in parts of the central and eastern United States, while dry weather will raise fire safety concerns in the West.
Batches of rain and thunderstorms will swing through Wales and England on Wednesday, continuing the threat for flash flooding and localised travel delays.
A second landslide has stalled rescue efforts following a deadly landslide in China over the weekend.
Audrey, the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the month of June, killed at least 500 people in the southern United States and caused an estimated $150 million in damage.
Here are five easy, survival expert-approved ways to prepare a campfire without a lighter or match.
April-like temperatures and heavy rain last week have been replaced by uncomfortable heat and humidity across Beijing and northeastern China this week.
Areas across Arizona are so hot that cactus are dying, food is baking and plastic is melting.
A slow-moving storm system will unleash several days of dangerous weather across Germany this week.