Stars In The Sky Are Dimming And Vanishing: Study

21 Jan 2023
5 min read

News Synopsis

According to a recent study, as more light pollution fills the night sky, the stars above us are becoming dimmer.

Researchers have discovered this after studying data from more than 50,000 stargazers. The phenomena brought on by the constant nightly glare of electric lights looks to be intensifying.

Researchers discovered that between 2011 and 2022, less visible stars were observed at the observation sites, which was consistent with an annual increase in nighttime sky brightness of 7 to 10%. This was higher than what satellite data had previously indicated.

According to studies published in the journal Science, artificial light is responsible for a 10% annual rise in the background sky, which obscures the brightest stars in the night sky.

"We are losing, year by year, the possibility to see the stars. If you can still see the dimmest stars, you are in a very dark place. But if you see only the brightest ones, you are in a very light-polluted place,"  According to Fabio Falchi, a physicist at the University of Santiago de Compostela.

According to a 2017 study based on satellite observations, the brightness and size of Earth's artificially lighted outdoor surface at night were increasing by roughly 2% annually. Concerns regarding the ecological effects of light pollution on people and animals have been highlighted. According to research, light pollution, for instance, poses a hazard to fireflies, which use specialised light-emitting organs and flashes to communicate during mating and reproduction.

The yearly change of 10% According to Christopher Kyba, a physicist at the German Research Centre for Geosciences in Potsdam and a research co-author, "is a lot bigger than I imagined - something you'll perceive clearly within a lifetime." Kyba and his associates used the following example: When there are 250 stars visible on a clear night, a child is born. Only 100 stars are still visible when that child reaches the age of 18 years.

Similar methods were used to gather study data from amateur astronomers participating in the charity Globe at Night project. Volunteers search for the constellation Orion, keeping in mind the three stars that make up his belt, and compare what they see in the night sky to a succession of charts that display an expanding number of nearby stars.


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