The strip image of the blog header is part of a satellite photo of the U.S. at night. The area at the left is the San Francisco Bay Area, particularly the south Bay:
You can get a sense of how it is that California is a “separate” country from the mid- and eastern U.S.:
But what interests me is that the lights show our presence, unlike a normal map.
Children of the Nile...
And here: a live feed from the International Space Station.
This project began in 2004.