||A demanding challenge in atmospheric research is the night-time characterization of aerosols using passive techniques, that is, by extracting information from scattered light that has not been emitted by the observer. Satellite observations of artificial night-time lights have been used to retrieve some basic integral parameters, like the aerosol optical depth. However, a thorough analysis of the scattering processes allows one to obtain substantially more detailed information on aerosol properties. In this letter, we demonstrate a practicable approach for determining the aerosol particle size number distribution function in the air column, based on the measurement of the angular radiance distribution of the scattered light emitted by night- time lights of cities and towns, recorded from low Earth orbit. The method is self-calibrating and does not require the knowledge of the absolute city emissions. The input radiance data are readily available from several spaceborne platforms, like the VIIRS-DNB radiometer onboard the Suomi-NPP satellite.