Monday , January 25 2021

Not so starry night: light pollution spoils the view of the stars Science

The pollution of light impedes the stellar view of the night sky for more than half of the people in England, the census showed.

Fifty-seven percent of the stars struggled to see more than 10 stars, while only 2% of the participants said they experienced a "real dark sky" that allowed them to count more than 30, according to the Campaign for the Protection of the Rural England (CPRE) .

People in cities and villages were encouraged to consider how many stars they can see with the naked eye in the constellation of Orion, which is visible only in the winter months.

Campaigners said the star counts, supported by the British Astronomical Association, showed the problem of light pollution and how it affected "one of the most beloved places in the countryside – a dark, starry night sky".

They said the results of England's night sky survey suggest that the government, local councils and the general public could do more to reduce the negative effects of artificial light from streets and buildings.

Emma Marrington, CPR dark skies campaign, said: "We are very grateful to the many people who took the time to go out and take part in our star counts. But it is deeply disappointing that the vast majority were unable to experience the natural wonder in a real dark sky, closed with stars. Without intervention, our night sky will continue to be lost under the veil of artificial light, to the detriment of our health and the health of the natural world.

"The results of the star's numbers show how far-reaching the glare of street lights and buildings can be seen. Light does not respect borders, and careless usage can be seen to spread miles of cities, cities, businesses and motorways."

It proposed better-designed lighting, street lighting reduction schemes and partial night lighting – where, in consultation with local communities and the police, some street lights are switched off during small hours – can provide the ability to limit damage caused by light pollution, reduction of carbon emissions and money saving.

CPE said the number of stars, which lasted for the first three weeks of February, included 2,300 people. Full results are available on its website.

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