December 11, 2013
(9 Aug. 2012) --- A nighttime view of Kuwait City is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 32 crew member on the International Space Station. Seen at night Kuwait City, the capital of the small Persian Gulf state of Kuwait, contrasts dramatically with the dark surface of the Persian Gulf (top) and the very sparsely populated desert area (bottom). Night views also show at a glance some aspects of urban geography that are difficult to perceive in daylight images. Here the focus of radial traffic arteries and "ring roads" guide the eye to the financial center of the city—on the cape extending into Kuwait Bay north of the First Ring Road. The numbering of the ring roads shows the progressive southward development of the city, towards the Seventh Ring Road which still lies outside the built-up area at lower right. The striking differences in color of city lighting also provide information on the urban geography. Areas with lighting of a green tinge are, in each case, newer residential districts. The town of Al Ahmadi (lower right), known for its verdant vegetation, was built in 1946 when oil was struck and stands out with its characteristic blue night lights. Kuwait International Airport, like most major airports around the globe, is particularly bright due to the high concentration of lights.