NASA's Earth Observatory has released a photo of the border between India and Pakistan, taken from the International Space Station. The striking orange line depicting the hostile Asian border, however, is not a product of Photoshop. This is the fenced and floodlit border zone between India and Pakistan. The fence is designed to discourage smuggling and arms trafficking and shows how divided the two nations are.
Clusters of yellow lights on the Indo-Gangetic Plain reveal numerous cities large and small, says the Earth Observatory.
Of the hundreds of clusters, the largest are New Delhi and Islamabad, the capital cities of India and Pakistan respectively.
A striking feature is the line of lights at the India-Pakistan border, with a distinctly orange hue, snaking across the center of the image. It appears to be more continuous and brighter than most highways in the view. A similar fenced zone separates India's eastern border from Bangladesh (not in the picture).
This image was taken with a 16mm lens, as part of a continuous series of frames, each with a one-second exposure time to maximize light collection. Unfortunately, this also causes blurring of some ground features.
The distinct, bright zone above the horizon (visible at the top of the image) is airglow, a phenomenon caused by excitation of atoms and molecules high in the atmosphere (above 80 kilometers, or 50 miles altitude) by ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Part of the ISS Permanent Multipurpose Module and a solar panel array are visible on the right side of the image.