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Features & Columns

US, European Night Skies Are Being Polluted--By Light

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US, European Night Skies Are Being Polluted--By Light

2019-11-13 16:53:081 Oct 2018 01:53 AM EST

Roughly one-third of the world, including 80% of North Americans, are unable to see the Milky Way. According to HuffPost, about 2,500 stars should be visible to us at night. But thanks to light pollution, only a few hundred can be spotted with the naked eye in most suburbs. Light pollution is defined as where the sky is 8% brighter than it naturally would be. From 2012 to 2016, the amount of artificially lighted areas around the world grew a total of 11%. Now, the majority of Europe (88%) and nearly half of the United States (47%) lives with light pollution each night. Some research suggests the pace of growth in light pollution matches the rates of urbanization.

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