Tala Ko

Our kids may never see the night sky.

Posted on: Sunday, 27 July 2008

Light pollution isn’t a new idea, and it isn’t a matter of aesthetics, either. I first read about it in high school. It disrupts human sleep and hormonal patterns, and in some places, you can sue your neighbor for having too much light.

I think if I ranked the types of pollution according to how much I cared about them, light pollution would be third, after air and water. I guess that comes from having grown up under a clear night sky and then suddenly moving to a place where I could see only the brightest stars, only once or twice a week.

clipped from www.disinfo.com

Around the world, the night sky is vanishing in a fog of artificial light, which a coalition of naturalists, astronomers and medical researchers consider one of the fastest growing forms of pollution, with consequences for wildlife, people’s health — and the human spirit.

About two-thirds of the world’s population, including almost everyone in the continental U.S. and Europe, no longer see a starry sky where they live. For much of the world, it never even gets dark enough for human eyes to adjust to night vision, reported an international team that mapped the geography of night lighting.

“Our children grow without seeing what is possibly the most extraordinary natural wonder,” says Italian astronomer Fabio Falchi, one of several U.S. and Italian researchers who used military satellite images to compile the first comprehensive global atlas of night-sky brightness — a 2001 orbital survey published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
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