The images to the right compare the nighttime illumination of the affected region from a cloud-free night on August 31, 2012, and the wake of the storm on November 1, 2012.
The images were captured by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) orbiting on NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite.
The VIIRS instruments are able to see clouds at night, as well as manmade illumination on the surface, by detecting light in a range of wavelengths from green to near-infrared.
Filters allow satellite image analysts to observe gas flares, city lights and reflected moonlight not detected by the usual nighttime infrared satellite instruments.
While the post-Sandy image is partially obscured by clouds to the north and west of New York City and Philadelphia, it does reveal most of the extent of the remaining blackout.
The enlarged images show the extent of power failures in eastern New Jersey, especially along the Garden State Highway and U.S. Highway 9.
The loss of electricity is also clearly visible in worst-hit Staten Island and parts of Long Island. A close look will show the lower part of Manhattan blacked out as well.
Full story and image: NASA