Many scientific datasets from satellites are in principle available for free, but that doesn't mean that they are actually accessible to the wider public. A new web application aims to change that, at least for satellite imagery of Earth at night. The app called "Radiance Light Trends" allows anyone with an Internet connection to quickly select a region or a site and analyse the trends in light emissions observed by satellites since 1992.
Changes in lighting which can be tracked by "Radiance Light Trends" have a variety of causes, according to Christopher Kyba from the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences in Potsdam, who guided development of the webapp. One example he points to is light leakage from large greenhouses, which often introduces new light to areas that used to be quite dark. For instance, a large greenhouse about 350 kilometres south west of Moscow lights up the night with escaping light since 2015.
The greenhouses in the Westland produce quite a lot of light as well.