Amazing Image of Hurricane Isaac at Midnight

This image of hurricane Isaac illuminated by moonlight as cities glow in the middle of the night is unique and strangely beautiful. It was captured on August 28, 2012, at midnight.

Down there, things are bad. Isaac is now seriously testing the new levees of New Orleans, a city still scarred by the Katrina nightmare. From space, however, the terrifying show is eerily magnificent.

The strange and beautiful look is the result of the moon illumination and NASA Suomi's Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument—which captures Earth's surface at different light wavelengths, "from green to near-infrared." Suomi also "uses light intensification to enable the detection of dim signals," like the light of the Moon. [NASA Goddard]