Mystery large-scale strong light pollution area in the Gulf of Mexico!

Started 1 month ago | Discussions thread
Flat view
mxk7 New Member • Posts: 20
Mystery large-scale strong light pollution area in the Gulf of Mexico!

First of all, I post it here because I found a blog post entitled "Deep-sky astrophotography with a Fujifilm camera" ( ) from someone's post on this forum.

From the blog post, I learned the concept of the Bortle scale, and it provides a link to this page:

And there is a link to the light pollution maps on that page:

Interesting things start here. I was looking around to have an idea of the light pollution pattern across the world. This is kind of my hobby, exploring the world in a virtual way. Soon after that, I noticed there is an area on the sea with strong light pollution on a scale like a large city! The default layer on this map is called "World Atlas 2015".

Look at the center of the screenshot. The purple area is bigger than the nearby Mexico cities.

It has the highest light pollution level (Bortle class 8-9, i.e., city sky and inner-city sky)

I checked another layer called VIIRS 2020 and saw a similar thing.

Looks like there is a periodical change in the strength of light emission.

I then had a look at Google Maps and didn't find land there!

There is a small island nearby. The satellite picture of this island has extremely low resolution, and it should be an unmanned island.

Does anyone have any idea what is the cause of the mystery light pollution on the sea? I don't think I happen to be the first one who has noticed this. And this doesn't look like a misalignment of the maps caused by a data processing issue. All the other areas I explored look normal. Maybe there is invisible light emitted via some kinds of geographic activities? Like undersea volcanos?

 mxk7's gear list:mxk7's gear list
Nikon Z7 Fujifilm X-T200 Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS Fujifilm 15-45mm F3.5-5.6 OIS PZ Nikon Z 24-70mm F4
Flat view
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow