Light pollution is still growing!

3년 전

Have you ever seen the Milky Way? Every year there are less and less positive answers to this question. The problem of the growing number of artificial lighting is getting more and more serious every year.

Light pollution in Europe in 2002

By NASA link [Public domain]

Today the situation is much worse than the view from the picture above 17 years ago. This isn't just about observing the cosmos. Too bright nights have a bad effect on the life of plants, animals and people. From year to year, large cities are expanding more and more, and the rural areas between them are getting fuller. From my childhood I remember dark summer nights when the Milky Way shone brightly on the sky. Today, on the best nights of the year, I only see its trail in the sky in the very zenith. In most industrialized countries, amateur astronomy ceased to exist or was limited to observing the planets and the moon. In Poland, the only dark place remains the Bieszczady mountains. This region isn't yet very urbanized.

Comparison of the night sky showing the effects of light pollution

By Jeremy Stanley link [CC BY 2.0 license]

The natural day-night rhythm of the day directs the life of plants, of animals and people. Nights are becoming brighter even in non-urban areas, which results in changes in the circadian cycle of living organisms. Many species of animals change their age-old behavior. Even people feel to some extent this phenomenon, which in some people reduces the comfort of sleep and reflects on the entire circadian rhythm. This phenomenon may become stronger over time and probably in a few decades without blinds it will not be possible to achieve the darkness needed for a healthy sleep in night. The light pollution process can hardly be stopped. It can only slow down a bit.

A photo of the Orion constellation with a long exposure time, on the left under a dark sky, and on the right under the city

By Jeremy Stanley link [CC BY 2.0 license]

In order to improve the situation, it is necessary to take action of the authorities and introduce appropriate provisions reducing night-time illumination. Each of us really has an impact on the level of pollution with artificial light. Many people light their homes and propertys all night, suggesting a greater sense of security. This is understandable, but is it not better to save energy and help in getting the dark nights? It's a matter of choosing each one of us. I am a little jealous of people living before the invention of electricity. They had the cosmos at your fingertips every night. Today, to experience this, you need to overcome hundreds of kilometers. And did you see the real dark, natural night sky? If so, then you're lucky. Your children can't experience it anymore.

Greetings to lovers of Astronomy!


Light pollution
Ecological light pollution
and my knowledge

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Yes this is a product of the power companies, they are trying to convince us that this makes your neighborhood safer at night. While they are raking in the cash for lighting up and down the streets. Possibly the power company can tell me why there is a huge street lamp across the quite little suburban street I live on and why my and my neighbors vehicles have been broken into by thieves and caused damage to accomplish the devious task all for about 12 to 15 dollars. the illusion is the power company likes to make more and more money and claim it is safer so does this constitute charging the middle class more for something that does not accomplish and pollutes the night atmosphere.
If you can not take my word for visit Canada's rural north. you will be stunned at the Milky way, you spot the planet Mars because it shines red more than the stars you would swear that there was a cloud going through the center of the sky but those are all stars in the plain of the Milky way. seriously your photo in the darkness do the night skies justice and the photos do say a thousand words, but being in northern Canada would give you a breathless experience and when you catch your Breath take a bigger gasp and the aurora-borealis should start. you will think you are at a70's rock concert with a trillion dollar light show. do your self a favor a book the airfare to Yellowknife NWT Canada in September or October is probably the best time of year but dress warm they have sub zero temps. starting about then. check it out and keep up the great work it has brought back many great memories for me I appreciate it.

Light pollution is still growing!

Well, it might be worse. The growing pollution might be heavy, not light.

Yes, I know, I will show myself out ;)

But to be serious, I love looking at the sky and often regret that we have the problem with light pollution. Some day I would love to visit some "dark sky reserve".


It is sad and probably many people living in typically urban areas haven't seen dark sky. Go to the Bieszczady one day, maybe you will get a nice night and see how it looks :)


I have been told there is practically no truly dark sky in Europe :) It seems amazing we can be let so much wasted light be sent up into the atmosphere.


Unfortunately, it is. For example, Poland. Now it's even worse :(


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I wonder if there will come a time in the future, where some people will go their whole lives with out having ever really gazed up at the night sky in a location without light pollution.