The lights of the Bakken:
From the Daily Mail:
Ken Paulman when examining places of light from a satellite image noticed another massive ‘city’ to the west that he couldn’t identify, brightly lit as the camera passed over. As editor of Midwest Energy News and a self-proclaimed geography buff, he used the surrounding cities to figure out what the large patch of light was.
The “Mystery city”: To the west of Bismarck, North Dakota which appears as a massive patch of light has been identified as the Bakken Oil Field. The Bakken is reportedly one of the largest oil fields in the world, covering about 200,000 square miles in North Dakota, Montana and Canada.
The huge amount of light given off in the area may be due to natural gas flares, flaming discharges used at oil fields to keep equipment from being over pressured.
It’s fitting that the productivity and prosperity the oil boom has brought to western North Dakota would be measured as light on a map.