Unsolved mystery of today

For some reason a good-old Google Earth caught my attention. Just exploring the web-portal was enchanting and captivating. I mean, you have to give them a credit.


A link “sources” pulled me further, as it was intriguing where all the data comes from. I landed on a list of varying public datasets, collected through years by NASA, weather agencies, Agricultural Agency, Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or even Oxford Malaria Atlas Project. Overall, many-many sources.

The provided datasets ranged from imagery to demographic, but imagery felt good on the eye.

Among the assailable choices the preview of Earth night view felt magical. The dataset DMSP-OLS Nighttime Lights Time Series Version 4 offered an imagery with 1 km resolution per year starting from 1992 finishing with 2014. A shame, that last 3 years are missing, because I would assume that in last three years human race has done significant industrialization achievements, but at 10 p.m. yesterday it didn’t matter much.

Nevertheless, it was undeniably a big fun to see us evolve and the lights grow bigger, network of lights become denser.

My lame pint-screenned array of years 1992–2013

I would want to apologize. I honestly tried to find a button, like “EXTRACT” or “DOWNLOAD”, as print-screening equaled defeat for me. I lost that battle, obviously. 
Now comes the question — why the duck would I go into the hassle of creating this patchy .gif?

Answer is here:

I highlighted an area to pay attention to.

As you can see starting year 2006–2007 there is a rapid development happening in Krasniyarsky region of Russia.

By year 2013 the light, captured by the satellite, equals the amount of light produced by Moscow capital. Moscow is a highly-urbanized city with a dense population, where each street has to be illuminated during night.

Now, let’s go investigating that extreme dot. The Google map, then the satellite view, one-by-one.

The bright area. Resolution 1 cm = 20 km.

When we get closer, the resolution increases to 20 km. in 1 cm.

That would mean that the bright center without the halo is already circa 20 km in diameter.

Same resolution, map view.

Google map shows nothing special here, really. The plain, empty valley. There are no cities with any sort of critical volume to be placed on the map.

Satellite view, same area.

The red color circles the place that is the core of the brightness, so lets go closer. From resolution of 1 cm.= 20 km. we go down to 1 cm.=500 m. towards:

67.806587, 83.552197

Vankorsky development site for Russian oil company “Rosneft”

Now we can see Vankorsky oil development site, a operated by Russian oil company “Rosneft”. The whole area is a thrio of 100 sq.m. buildings, loosely connected with sandy roads, scattered around huge area.

I have wandered through the map around the development site and there are no more buildings around, nothing except fields and rivers.

My unsolved mystery of today —

what makes that development sight so bright?