Synopses & Reviews
Lights of Mankind
is the story of how weve populated our planet as told through inspiring, panoramic photographs of Earth at night, images made possible by the latest light-sensitive cameras and the newly installed Cupola observation module on the International Space Station. These photos, taken by astronauts from the largest window ever used in space, have already awed hundreds of thousands of people.
The images, of course, beg explanation. Why did human beings settle here and not there? How is this glittering planet powered? The photographs tell a story of agriculture, geography, wars, disease, food supply, water supply, politics, and power supply. The uncertain sprawl of Southern California. The Nile River as it snakes toward the Mediterranean. The gridlike pattern of lights that writes the history of the American Midwest. This is the “unintended artwork of human habitation,” as author Keeney writes, artwork we now see first-hand, the first ever photographic portrait of Earth at night.
A trip into space is one of the rarest of human experiences, and this book includes first-person perspectives by the astronauts themselves—Don Pettit, Douglas Wheelock, Mario Runco Jr., Clayton “Clay” Anderson, and Sandra Magnus. What was it like? Their disarmingly honest answers help give us a feel of the human experience in space.
Earth at night, as the photos and essays of this book showcases, is an electric planet, glittering with billions of lights for all the solar system to see.
Lights of Mankind
goes where no book has gone before. Displaying a myriad of remarkable images never published previously in one volume—selected from among nearly 130,000 photographs downlinked by astronauts from the Cupola observation module on the International Space Station—
it tells the story of what planet Earth looks like at night.
Covering all inhabited continents and most major cities, it also features compelling accompanying text, including words from the astronauts themselves, who tell what they saw and how they felt as they viewed Earth at night.
About the Author
L. Douglas Keeney is the author or editor of many historical books, including 15 Minutes: Curtis LeMay and the Countdown to Nuclear Annihilation. He was the cofounder of the Military Channel, and has appeared on the Discovery Channel, CBS, and the Learning Channel. A pilot, a scuba diver, and an avid traveler, he has visited many of the cities in this book.
Time-Lapse Footage of the Earth at Night from the International Space Station