Light pollution is harming us all

Chicago by night. But is it really nightIf you have been reading this blog for a few years, you know it : I am very much interested in astronomy and even happen to practice it from time to time. But this is becoming harder and harder globally because of light pollution.

But is light pollution really a pollution ? YES, as it has averse effects on many if not on all species, including ours. Aeon Magazine has published a compelling article on why we should turn off – or at least drastically dim – all street lights :

1. it’s useless to have so much light at night 2. it’s bad for human health 3. it’s even worse for animals. Reading the article, I am quite glad France decided last year to tackle this issue.

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Assessing and ending light pollution

nightearth_bigLight pollution is a major problem for astronomers in most if not all countries (see map) . But for the International Year of Astronomy this may change with the following initiative.

Globe at Night allows astronomers to easily assess the phenomenon with a series of charts. By watching the Orion Constellation, it is simple to know if your local sky is polluted or not.

Significant changes have been reached in the past few years in local areas but we now need a global initiative to decrease the amounts of lights of our cities and suburbia.

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