What is this bright light in Kazakhstan
August 13, 2023 9:50 AM   Subscribe

I was looking at a map of light pollution when I noticed an odd very very bright spot in the middle of Kazakhstan. The sattelite imagery shows a bunch of paths linking up circles with something in the middle.

So what's going on here. Can you find corresponding imagery anywhere else. Is it really as bright as London or Paris, or is it a glitch?
What are the circles? What's in them.
posted by Just this guy, y'know to Grab Bag (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Quick guess is the Kandym-Khauzak-Shady gas extraction facilities. You see this in a lot of regions with similar extraction projects (in part because excess fuel is simply burned... brightly).
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 9:59 AM on August 13, 2023 [4 favorites]

Energy exploration? Check out western North Dakota (an otherwise very sparsely populated area) during the fracking boom a decade ago.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 9:59 AM on August 13, 2023 [3 favorites]

It looks like there are lots of gas/oil extraction facilities and workers' housing.
posted by alby at 10:41 AM on August 13, 2023 [2 favorites]

It is gas flaring. If you navigate to this area on a map of satellite-detected flaring, you'll see a lot there.
posted by ssg at 2:23 PM on August 13, 2023 [2 favorites]

I think it's the Kenkiyak oil and gas field.

The circles appear to be earthen berms around well sites, either for containment of spills or possibly just soil that's been scraped up to clear the ground before drilling. Here's a photo from Google Maps showing one of them. Since they all appear to have gaps (for vehicle access?) I'm kind of curious how they would work as containment berms though.
posted by theory at 2:24 PM on August 13, 2023 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Ah that flare map also explains this region up in siberia.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 2:45 PM on August 13, 2023 [1 favorite]

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