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Blinded by the Light: Wrecked Up by Our Juice, Another Citizen of the Night [Slide Show]

Light pollution is blurring out the night sky

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DARK SKY PRESERVES:

Significant patches of darkness still remain in the U.S., mostly in the west. Death Valley National Park in California currently stands as the world's largest dark sky park, despite its relative proximity to Los Angeles, a major light polluter.....[ More ]

TELESCOPE TROUBLE:

Major observatories face encroaching light pollution as well. The Very Large Telescope in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile, among the most productive astronomical research stations in the world, may one day soon experience its infrared observations impeded by the lights of Antofagasta, a port city nearby.....[ More ]

GLOBAL PROBLEM:

Light pollution blights more than the richest cities. Santiago del Chile spreads its luminance deep into the surrounding mountains thanks to sprawl.....[ More ]

VISIBLE STARS:

Normally, Parisians enjoy a view of no more than 200 stars on any given evening, the lowest possible level of night sky darkness, as evidenced by this map. Similar levels are recorded throughout the major metropolitan regions of Europe, and around the world.....[ More ]

DARK CITY:

In a bid to call attention to the challenge of climate change, cities such as Tokyo have begun participating in Earth Hour—an hour in which lights are turned off from Sydney to Paris. The idea is to raise awareness and save energy but also has the side effect of making the stars more visible to residents who may never have had the chance to see them.....[ More ]

WORLD ATLAS:

Researchers in Italy employ the view from satellites to determine artificial night sky brightness as well as the visibility of stars. Light pollution correlates strongly with wealth, as evidenced by the dense agglomerations of brightness in the Eastern U.S., Western Europe and Japan.....[ More ]

EARTH AT NIGHT:

Tendrils of artificial light creep across continents in this stitched together image of the Earth at night, courtesy of NASA. Loss of darkness affects human health, deranges nocturnal species and hinders the ability to make out constellations, among other impacts.....[ More ]

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