Every night, when Ra sinks into the netherworld, modern Egypt's necklace of light glitters into space, with almost no one to see it. This glowing spectacle is usually reserved for just a handful of folk on board the International Space Station.
But now, thanks to NASA, the rest of us can marvel at this night time wonder.
This month, NASA released new high-definition composite satellite images of the Earth at night. This image captures the entire long, thin stage on which ancient Egypt played out for over 3,000 years.
The river of light flows from Aswan in the south, up through Luxor (at the bottom of the great u-shaped bend in the Nile), past the Faiyum, and spreads out where the Delta meets the Mediterranean coast. Clusters of brilliance appear at Cairo and Alexandria.
The overall effect resembles a great, glowing, long-stemmed water lily, valued by the ancient Egyptians for its sacred, life-giving fragrance.
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