Whose bright idea was that? Border between India and Pakistan is so brightly lit it can be seen from space
Snaking for hundreds of miles across the earth's surface, this spectacular picture shows one of the planet's land borders like never before.
The dramatic picture shows a bright orange line jutting across the earth, indicating the border between India and Pakistan.
The stunning image of the earth, taken from the International Space Station last month, also shows busy cities show up as bright clusters hundreds of miles apart.
Spectacular: The International Space Station image captures the floodlit border between India, above the orange line, and Pakistan, below the border in the picture
The border between India and Pakistan, shown here on a conventional satellite image, is now under heavy surveillance through floodlights and fencing
The Indian government sanctioned a move to erect floodlights along the terrain separating India and Pakistan in the Gujarat sector in 2003 to prevent smuggling and arms trafficking.
In previous years the border has regularly seen attempts at infiltration by terrorists, as well as the smuggling of arms, ammunition and contraband.
In total, the Indian government hope to cover 1248 miles (2009 km) of the 1800-mile (2900 km) India-Pakistan border with floodlights.
Officials have so far erected floodlights along 286 miles (460 km) of Indian border with the Pakistan state of Punjab.
The extensive floodlighting continues for 635 miles (1022 km) across Rajasthan, 109 miles (176 km) across the Jammu international border, and 125 miles (202 km) through Gujarat.
So far 1156 miles (1861 km) of the border have been floodlit.
Plans are in place to erect a total 1269 miles (2043 km) of fencing along the nation's border.
The Indian government hope to have completely finished the floodlight operation by March 2012.
A similar fenced border zone operates along India's eastern border with Bangladesh, although it cannot be seen as vividly on images like this.
The Gujarat border region was notorious for being infiltrated until officials erected the floodlit border in 2003.
The spectacular image showing the floodlit border was taken by Expedition 28 International Space Station Crew on August 21.
Also visible on the picture as bright clusters is Lahore, Pakistan, nearest to the orange border line.
Islamabad, Pakistan, can also be seen towards the bottom of the picture, as well as New Delhi, India, at the top.
The floodlit border fencing built through the Indian government since 2003 is so bright it can be seen from space
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