You Can Still See the Division of East and West Berlin from Space

Berlin might be united now, but evidence of its 40-year history of division still remains. The photo below, taken by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, shows a divided Berlin, with the East appearing in orange and the West appearing in white. That’s because what used to be East Berlin utilizes nearly 40,000 sodium-vapor lamps, which appear orange, while what used to be West Berlin has upgraded to fluorescent or LED lamps that appear white. Sodium-vapor lamps have fallen out of favor since they give off primarily yellow light that inhibits color vision in the dark. They also contain mercury, which makes them potentially toxic if broken, as well as being difficult to dispose of. They also have half the lifetime of LED bulbs.