The study warned that seeing stars at night decreased by 10% annually, thanks to light pollution

Stargazing may soon be a thing of the past: Star visibility in the night sky is declining by 10% annually thanks to light pollution, study warns

  • Researchers evaluated 51,351 star observations seen between 2011 and 2022.
  • The brightness of the night sky from artificial light has increased by 7 to 10% per year
  • This is equivalent to doubling the brightness of the night sky in less than 8 years

There is something so amazing about looking up at the night sky and seeing the distant stars twinkle in your face.

From the glowing arc of the Milky Way to dozens of intricate constellations, the human eye should be able to see many thousands of stars on a clear, dark night.

In bad news for stargazers, however, the stunning spectacle is “fading away” due to increasing levels of light pollution, according to a new study.

Observations of the night sky over the past 12 years reveal that the change in visibility equates to a 9.6 percent increase in sky brightness per year.

Observations of the night sky over the past 12 years reveal that the change in visibility equates to a 9.6 percent increase in sky brightness per year.

To put this in perspective, the authors say that a child born in an area where 250 stars were seen is likely to see fewer than 100 stars in the same location 18 years later.

The researchers evaluated the 51,351 citizens scientists observed of stars seen with the naked eye between 2011 and 2022.

To determine the brightness of the night sky, they asked participants around the world to compare maps of stars to what they could see with their own eyes.

According to the results, the brightness of the night sky from artificial light has increased by about 7 to 10 percent annually.

They said this is equivalent to doubling the brightness of the night sky in less than eight years.

Astronaut photos of parts of Calgary show examples of how lighting changed from 2010 to 2021: new lighting was installed and many streetlights were converted from orange high-pressure sodium to white LED

Astronaut photos of parts of Calgary show examples of how lighting changed from 2010 to 2021: new lighting was installed and many streetlights were converted from orange high-pressure sodium to white LED

It is much larger than the data provided by satellites, which indicate that the brightness of the night sky is increasing by about 2 percent per year.

When the researchers looked at Europe specifically, they found a 6.5 percent increase in brightness annually.

The research, published in the journal Science, was carried out by teams from the German Research Center for Geosciences and the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the United States.

“The increase in skyglow over the past decade underscores the importance of redoubling our efforts and developing new strategies to protect the dark skies,” said Connie Walker, of the National Science Foundation.

Commenting on the study, David Rothery, professor of planetary geosciences at the Open University, said local councils should take action to help reduce light pollution in the UK.

“Light pollution is a serious problem, not only for those who like to be able to see the stars, but also for wildlife,” he said.

It’s also a waste of electricity – and money – and thus makes it more difficult to meet climate change goals.

Local councils can take action here. They must revoke permits for illuminated name signs and logos on industrial units that are currently in operation overnight.

They should require industrial and home security lights to have screens that direct the light down onto the owner’s property only, instead of wasting half of it across the neighborhood.

“Maybe with the current cost of electricity so high, people will enlighten themselves and start saving money by lighting only what they need.”

Light pollution is excessive, annoying and wasteful artificial light

Light pollution, also known as light pollution, is the presence of man-made light in the nighttime environment.

Excessive, intrusive, and ultimately wasteful artificial light is called light pollution, and it directly affects how bright our night sky is.

With over nine million street lights and 27 million offices, factories, warehouses and homes in the UK, the amount of light we cast into the sky is enormous.

While some light escapes into space, the rest is scattered by particles in the atmosphere, making it difficult to see the stars against the night sky. What you see instead is “Skyglow”.

The increasing number of people living on Earth and the corresponding increase in unsuitable and unprotected outdoor lighting has led to light pollution – a bright night sky that has wiped out the stars for much of the world’s population.

Most people would have to travel far from home, away from the glare of artificial lighting, to experience the amazing expanse of the Milky Way as our ancestors once knew it.

Light pollution is excessive and inappropriate artificial light.  While some light escapes into space, the rest is scattered by particles in the atmosphere, making it difficult to see the stars against the night sky.  What you see instead is it

Light pollution is excessive and inappropriate artificial light. While some light escapes into space, the rest is scattered by particles in the atmosphere, making it difficult to see the stars against the night sky. What you see instead is “Skyglow”

The negative effects of losing this inspiring natural resource may seem intangible.

But a growing body of evidence links bright night skies directly to measurable negative effects on human health and immune function, to harmful behavioral changes in insects and animals, and to declining environmental quality and safety in our nocturnal environment.

Astronomers were among the first to record the negative effects of wasted lighting on scientific research, but for all of us, the negative economic and environmental effects of wasted energy are evident in everything from your monthly electricity bill to global warming.

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