Riyadh Newspaper | Study: Light pollution is increasing rapidly

Light pollution is increasing at a rapid pace, while the number of stars that can be seen with the naked eye at night in some areas is likely to decrease by half, in a period not exceeding twenty years, according to a scientific study published in the journal “Science” Thursday.

It was noted that the increase in this pollution caused by artificial lighting is greater than what was observed by satellites at night.

In order to assess the effect of artificial lighting on the night sky, scientists relied on star observations conducted between 2011 and 2022 by about 51,000 people familiar with scientific issues, specifically in the United States and Europe.

And through the change in the number of observed stars, it was concluded that the glow of the sky increased annually by an average of 9.6% in the places where the study participants lived, according to the researchers.

With the increase in light pollution, the number of stars visible to the naked eye in a region is expected to drop from 250 to 100 within 18 years.

This study was conducted in conjunction with the replacement of a large number of external lighting devices with light-emitting diode (LED) lamps. However, the effect of this shift in the quality of lighting on the glow of the sky is not clear, according to the researchers, and the scientists indicated that the vision of the stars decreased rapidly despite (or perhaps because of) the use of light-emitting diodes in the streets.

They stressed that the technologies currently used in street lighting do not reduce light pollution.

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