During the next two weeks, you can help build a map of global light pollution, assisting scientists and astronomers as they monitor the loss of virgin night skies. You just have to look at the stars and write down what you see — or, more likely, what you don't see.
The GLOBE At Night program is encouraging the public to look at certain constellations and compare observations with brightness maps on its site. You can enter your data in a new web app, accessible via tablets and mobile phones. The program, in its sixth year, hopes crowd-sourced night-sky observations will yield the most accurate Earth-at-night maps.
Satellite views like the one above can tell the story only so well; ground-based observations are a better gauge of how light from buildings and other infrastructure illuminates most people's night skies.
By the turn of the millennium, two-thirds of the world no longer saw a virgin night sky, and in some places this may never be reversed. More than half the world's population lives in cities, the most light-polluted of which prevent even the Big Dipper from being seen. Along with robbing us of our natural heritage, light pollution can be detrimental to human health, and it can also harm birds, sea turtles and bats, among many other creatures who are confused by artificial lighting.
The GLOBE At Night project runs through April 6.
not surprising, that the brightest country is still japan.
In these images, I like to note the stark difference between North and South Korea.
ITS A TRAP
on a more serious note. im not familiar with north and south korea but wow. that is a HUGE difference. what gives?
It's probably due to the fact that South Korea is more tech savvy, and has nationwide wi-fi.
As for..."two-thirds of the world no longer saw a virgin night sky, and in some places this may never be reversed"
Frankly, the use of the word "virgin" makes no sense and neither does the idea that these things may never be reversed. May I recommend a power outage? Or on the more practical side, have businesses turn off their lights when not in use and have motion detecting lights in public areas and parking lots.
-my name here-
I agree.. but to an extent I don't. If we were to condense the us land mass to the size of Japan and still retain the population I think we'd have a little "battle of the brightness" on our hands. This is a pretty cool map as you can extrapolate generalized population density from it as well, so it gives a great basic idea as to where all the people are in the world.
Wonder if our collective weight, including structures, has any quantifiable effect on the plates we float around on.
Interesting final thought, there...
So we're up to noise pollution, light pollution, polluting the water table and the oceans, also the air we breathe, and now we have, what? Weight pollution? I seriously hope we're not slowly killing ourselves in *another* way. But some research just might be in order...
You can also add your GLOBEatNight data to www.mydarksky.com