The spatial and spectral characteristics of the radiance from the earth atmosphere have been measured by a recent satellite experiment over the range 1100-2900 Å. This radiation forms the background for applications such as observation of targets or pollutants in the atmosphere. From the data acquired between April and September 1978 on a polar orbiting satellite, improved radiance levels can be given for a number of viewing conditions such as day maximum, night minimum, auroral zone, twilight, and night tropical airglow. The initial results from the data presently reduced indicate low levels in the day.Rayleigh scatter found at minima between Lyman-Birge-Hopfield bands of nitrogen between about 1400 and 1700 Å. Detailed spatial structure in the auroral regions indicate methods for day and night identifiption of disturbed atmospheric regions. The equatorial enhancement of atomic oxygen lines at 1304 and 1356 Å provides additional evidence linking vacuum ultraviolet observational techniques with ionospheric irregularities. The experiment consists of a spectrometer with either 1, 5, or 25 Å resolution and a VUV photometer with four interference filters and four fields of view. Radiance levels, spectrometer records, and global photometer profiles will be described as well as the relation of these observations to previous data and present aeronomical models.