Dark Sky Places help us imagine a world where we can all see the night sky.
By Nikita Amir, April 16, 2021
Most people on planet Earth right now don’t live under truly dark night skies. Though you might be aware that you can’t see the stars in Tokyo or New York City, you might not realize that there’s some degree of light pollution in most of the places humans live today. Light pollution is any form of excessive or obtrusive light that interferes with the natural starlight in the night sky.
Currently, light pollution is growing at two percent every year—that’s twice the rate of population growth.
Rapid industrialization and booming cities have made artificial lighting ubiquitous. However, the effects of this aren’t just limited to starless skies. Several studies link light pollution to deteriorating health of wildlife, humans, and the planet.
Artificial light interferes with our circadian rhythms by messing with melatonin production, and interrupts natural processes like breeding and migrating in everything from sea turtles to birds. There is even evidence to suggest that bright lighting is responsible for the accelerated decline of biodiversity amongst insects (a.k.a. the insect apocalypse).