|This work by Alejandro Sanchez de Miguel, Christopher Kyba, and Freie Universität Berlin|
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
When our aircraft was north of the area, it was able to see north facing facades that were illuminated. These illuminated facades are invisible, however, when viewed from the South. This means that when satellites take images of the Earth at night, the "answer" for how bright a city is depends to some extent on where the satellite was when it took the image.
Update (August 5, 2019)
My student Jacqueline Coesfeld wrote a paper that uses these images, and considers how this effect (and others) result in variations in how much light is seen by satellites from night to night. The paper is Open Access, so check it out!