Busting Vegas Myths: The Strip is the Brightest Place on Earth


Published on: October 30, 2023 at 04:06 pm.

Last updated on: November 1, 2023 at 11:48 pm.

On May 25, 2022, “Cubby and Christine in the Morning” will premiere. WLTW-FM/New York She asked her listeners about the brightest place on Earth.

Las Vegas as seen from space at night in a NASA image. Can you see the light of Luxor? (Image: NASA)

The first caller to answer “Las Vegas” won four tickets to a Cirque du Soleil show at the Prudential Center.

Those tickets should have gone to someone else.

And the winner is… no sector

Determining the brightest place on Earth, per square mile, with certainty “has not been done yet, but it could be done,” said Jurij Starr, inventor of the lightpollutionmap.info web application. Casino.org. The Stare app allows users to view and process images of the world captured at night by NOAA and NASA’s SWAMI satellite annually from 2012 to 2022 and shows the brightness as digital data.

“What you need is a GIS analyst to do some area statistics on the VIIRS datasets for you,” Starr wrote in an email. “It will require a lot of manual work in selecting areas and writing data.”

Next, we consulted researcher Fabio Falchi at the Institute of Light Pollution Science and Technology in Thane, Italy. That’s because we had no idea what Starr was talking about, and we were seriously hoping someone else would tell us what we wanted to know without us having to do any of the work.

During the Zoom call, Falchi pulled up Stare’s web app, with which he was familiar, and pointed out how many concentrated areas of the world were shaded red, the color chosen to indicate the highest light output at night. There were literally hundreds of seemingly identical red blobs, and the Las Vegas Strip was just one of them.

Falci then zoomed in on a large red spot that he said he noticed just before our interview. It was the Chau Thanh district of Vietnam, near Saigon. Using a web tool that compared a ring of red light from the tape to a red spot of the same size above Chau Thanh, he produced a stunning result.

The Chau Thanh area in Vietnam is brighter than the Las Vegas Strip and occupies approximately the same area. (Image: lightpollutionmap.info)

For the exact same area, Chau Thanh’s total light output was 335 nanowatts per square centimeter, versus 245 nanowatts per square centimeter. That’s 37% brighter!

Seeing the light

“Let’s see what’s over there that’s so bright,” Falci asked as he compared Chau Thanh to a satellite image of the area during the day and zoomed in on what appeared to be a large group of crop fields.

Researcher Fabio Falchi and you are really trying to understand the light output of Chau Thanh during what could turn out to be a historic Zoom call. (picture: Casino.org)

“This is very, very strange,” he said. “I have no idea why this is happening. Maybe they light the crops at night?

A dragon fruit field illuminated at night in Chau Thanh District, Vietnam. (Image: Innovate)

Oh boy, Do they. Travel agencies already sell night tours of illuminated fields. One of them, called Innoviet, describes the fields on its website as “like a thousand stars twinkling on the Earth where you can simply capture this moment with your naked eyes at close range.”

Is it possible that the brightest place on Earth was completely undiscovered until we happened to push Valchi to discover it on October 20, 2023?

Yes, but it is equally possible that there is a small but very bright part of Hong Kong, Moscow or Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, which a legitimate Internet resource usually calls the brightest land. city, He owns the address.

Maybe you have a year to research a project that won’t end in a graduate degree. But we’re humble mythbusters in Vegas, so we’re thrilled to be able to make the following announcement With absolute certainty…

The brightest place on Earth, measured in brightness per square mile, is… no las vegas strip.

“Is it too late for me to win Cirque du Soleil tickets?” Falchi said jokingly.

Understanding the myth

The photo taken by astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) on November 30, 2010, showing the Strip and its bright lights, was posted by NASA on its website with this copy: “The Vegas Strip is reputed to be the brightest spot on Earth due to the concentration of lights On its hotels and casinos.

No one seemed to notice the “prestigious” part. (Note that even NASA itself did not want to conduct the research!)

Most sites that ask the same question claim that the Las Vegas Strip is simply 100%, without a doubt, the sunniest place on Earth. The Westgate Resort Blog goes so far as to refer to the strip as Brighter than the entire city of Hong Kong!

The light at the top of the Luxor Hotel and Casino is believed to be the brightest on Earth. (picture: Casino.org)

What about Luxor?

If you need Vegas to win the “Brightest something“It’s too bad you’ll be happy with ‘the brightest single light on Earth visible from space’, then well, let’s see…

When it opened in 1993, Luxor was powered by 39 xenon lamps with 7,000-watt bulbs, emitting 42.3 billion candela of light. To illustrate, a modern lighthouse emits about a million candles. So… 42 thousand beacons pointing straight up.

The above paragraph is written in the past tense because the light in Luxor has been dimmed by half since 2008. The dimming was implemented by MGM Resorts to save energy and money and hopefully no one will notice.

Except for the occasional article like this one pointing out the dimming of the light for exceptionally smart people who care about such things, it’s worked. Almost no one noticed. Even at about 21 billion candela, the final high beam over Luxor is still thought to be the brightest light in the world.

There is still a problem

Regardless of whether it is the brightest light in the world, the sky beam in Luxor – to debunk two myths here for the price of one – It was never visible from space. All satellite images of Las Vegas at night show the light output from the southern end of the strip mixed with a single haze of light.

That’s why you couldn’t make out Luxor in the first photo of this story.

Look for “Vegas Legends Busted” every Monday Casino.org. Visit VegasMythsBusted.com To read pre-set Vegas Legends. Do you have a suggestion for a Vegas legend that needs busting? Email corey@casino.org.

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