Imagine if aliens did exist, and they could see the earth lit up brighter than a star on special occasions! Scientists report that festival lights lit on days like Christmas or Ramadan can be clearly viewed from space. Satellites have been used to measure the changing energy levels during such festivals in the US and the Middle East.

Researchers have reported that during the festival of Ramadan in the Middle East, some cities experienced around a hundred percent increase in the brightness levels, especially when compared to the rest of the month or the year.

Infrared cameras have been used by researchers at the Suomi National Polar Orbiting Partnership satellite to observe the glow or brightness levels of lights at night time on Earth. NASA official Miguel Roman stated, "For the first time, we've been able to examine changes in lighting at the country, city and neighborhood scales."

Roman also explained the causes of the spike in energy when he said, "The lighting goes up for predominantly residential reasons. People are leaving work for the holiday and they are turning on the lights." In other words, scientists suggest that the increase in energy is caused during major festivals when most people spend more time at home.

Observing the energy use of cities from space may help scientists understand the correlation between cultural events and energy use. Researchers suggest that the data amassed from such observations can be used by governments for policy making purposes, and also improve the lives of the citizens.