Saturday, October 24, 2020

Citites Without Light Pollution

There are lots of interactive maps which use NASA's 'Black Marble' or 'Night Lights' satellite imagery. to show the effects of light pollution around the world. NASA's composite Black Marble map of satellite images showing the Earth at night reveals how electric lighting in cities around the world contributes to the global problem of light pollution. 

The Light Pollution Map is just one of the many interactive maps which use this satellite imagery to show how human populations around the world contribute to light pollution. One of the problems with all this light pollution is that it makes it difficult for astronomers to view the night sky from Earth. The Light Pollution Map is very good at showing you where light pollution is located around the world. It isn't quite so good at showing you the effect of that light pollution on your ability to view the stars.

Clear Night Sky however does a very good job at visualizing what urban citizens around the world are missing because of light pollution. In Clear Night Sky the star mapping website Under Lucky Stars has taken 27 night-time photos of cities around the world and 'reimagined' them to show you how they would look if they were free from light pollution. 

On each of these 27 city views you can drag a slider to compare how each city's skyline looks at night (with the effects of light pollution) with how each city would look without the pollution blocking your view of the stars. I think you will have to agree that all these cities look so much more beautiful when you can see the stars shining above. 

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