The new world atlas of artificial night sky brightness [IMA]

Artificial lights raise night sky luminance, creating the most visible effect of light pollution-artificial skyglow. Despite the increasing interest among scientists in fields such as ecology, astronomy, health care, and land-use planning, light pollution lacks a current quantification of its magnitude on a global scale. To overcome this, we present the world atlas of artificial sky luminance, computed with our light pollution propagation software using new high-resolution satellite data and new precision sky brightness measurements. 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. The Milky Way is hidden from more than one-third of humanity, including 60% of Europeans and nearly 80% of North Americans. Moreover, 23% of the world’s land surfaces between 75{\deg}N and 60{\deg}S, 88% of Europe, and almost half of the United States experience light-polluted nights.

Read this paper on arXiv…

F. Falchi, P. Cinzano, D. Duriscoe, et. al.
Tue, 6 Sep 16

Comments: 26 pages, 19 figures, 3 tables