In the game Mass Effect 3, several planets are invaded by scores upon scores of hostile aliens, who have enough resources to spread their forces over an entire galaxy and still be largely unstoppable. You have to do a mission on the moon of one of the invaded planets (one which was as populated as Earth), and you can always see the orange-blotted surface looming behind everything you do. It is a chilling view.
Is it realistic though? If the attack is big enough to cause fires the size of countries, wouldn't said fires and the attack also spew up enough clouds and dust to hide them from view?
The aliens in question do use laser weapons which may explain the light, but they are red lasers, not orange as seen in the picture. Cracking the crust to reveal lava is also not something they do. I am therefore assuming that what you see is burning cities.
So concretely, if a city or a country was on fire, would you see it from space? Or are such fires not luminous enough to get through the smoke they emit? And, what would you notice about a planet invaded globally, without turning on the radio and checking in on them?