Via Chicagoist, astronaut Tim Kopra snapped this from aboard the International Space Station earlier this week:
The city's borders show up brilliantly because unlike most of the surrounding suburbs, Chicago uses sodium-vapor lamps, which glow yellow-orange. But that's changing (including right in my own alley):
The Chicago Infrastructure Trust will replace the city's 348,500 outdoor lights with energy-efficient LED technology, according to a statement from City Hall. The Smart Lighting Project is aimed at making the city's lighting more environmentally-friendly and save money.
The LED lights would be significantly more efficient than the current sodium-vapor lights and would produce the same amount of light while using a fraction of the electricity, according to TimeOut Chicago. However, the new lights will produce a white light instead of the famous orange glow.
I have say, the LEDs are much more pleasant than the old lights, and they use just a fraction of the energy. But someday the city's outline won't be as visible from above.