The stars appear darker as the night sky gets brighter each year. The night sky is becoming nearly 10% brighter annually thanks to artificial illumination, according to a recent study that examined data from more than 50,000 amateur astronomers. That represents a significantly higher rate of change than what experts had earlier predicted using satellite data. According to the Associated Press, the study was published in the journal Science on Thursday.
According to Fabio Falchi, a physicist from the University of Santiago de Compostela who was not involved in the study, “We are losing the ability to view the stars year by year.” “You are in a very dark environment if you can still make out the faintest stars. However, if you can only see the brightest ones, the environment is extremely light-polluted.”
Skyglow, or artificial twilight as it is known by the study’s authors, who studied data from 2011 to 2022, intensifies as towns erect more lights. According to research co-author Christopher Kyba, the 10% annual change “is a lot bigger than I expected—something you’ll notice clearly within a lifetime.”
A baby is born in a place where 250 stars are visible on a clear night, according to Kyba and his associates. Only 100 stars are still visible when that child reaches the age of 18 years. Kyba stated, “This is actual pollution, impacting people and wildlife. I hope authorities will do more to reduce light pollution. In some places, there are restrictions.
Previous research that made use of nighttime satellite photos of the Earth had put the rise in sky brightness at roughly 2% per year. However, the used satellites are unable to pick up light coming from energy-saving LED bulbs and other sources with wavelengths closer to the blue end of the spectrum. A biologist who was not involved in the study claimed that skyglow interferes with both human circadian rhythms and those of other living things.
A common human experience is among the things that are being lost, according to Falchi. “The night sky has been a source of inspiration for art, science, and literature for all the centuries before ours,” he remarked.
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