Artificial light drowning out the stars – In the news

The “New World Atlas of Artificial Night Sky Brightness” published Science Advances this week reveals that the Milky Way is hidden from more than one-third of humanity.

Drawing on data collected from citizen scientists and satellites, researchers from Italy, Germany, the USA, and Israel have created what they describe as “a critical documentation of the state of the night environment.”

This atlas shows that more than 80% of the world and more than 99% of the U.S. and European populations live under light-polluted skies.

New Zealand coverage of the Atlas includes:

New Zealand Herald: Lights drown out Milky Way for third of world’s population
RNZ: A third of people on earth can no longer see the Milky Way
New Zealand Herald: Why we are slowly losing our night sky
Newshub: Too bright for 1 in 3 to wish upon a star
New Zealand Herald: Milky Way now hidden from a third of humanity

Click to enlarge: The sky brightness levels indicate the following: up to 1% above the natural light (0 to 1.7 μcd/m2; black); from 1 to 8% above the natural light (1.7 to 14 μcd/m2; blue); from 8 to 50% above natural nighttime brightness (14 to 87 μcd/m2; green); from 50% above natural to the level of light under which the Milky Way is no longer visible (87 to 688 μcd/m2; yellow); from Milky Way loss to estimated cone stimulation (688 to 3000 μcd/m2; red); and very high nighttime light intensities, with no dark adaption for human eyes (>3000 μcd/m2; white).