Light Pollution

by Maritza Hernandez

The Globe at Night is a worldwide citizen science campaign to raise public awareness on the impact of light pollution on energy consumption, wildlife, and human health. Globe at Night asks citizen scientists to measure the night sky brightness from their location and add their data to a map on the website.

Light pollution is being caused by us humans because we use to much light. We can’t see the stars because we use too much light to light up buildings, sidewalks, and other things , and by using too much light we are not letting other people or animals see the night sky. Wildlife is being affected by this too because if birds cannot see the stars then they can fly into the buildings and other birds may get confused about when the season is changing. Humans are being affected by this too, light affects when we sleep and artificial light can mess that up. Some of the effects of light pollution include increased risks for obesity, depression, sleep disorders, diabetes, breast cancer and more.

I love seeing the sky with the stars it’s just relaxing,  many people love to just lay back and watch the stars. But if one group is really being affected by light pollution, it is astronomers. If they can’t see the stars then what’s point of being an astronomer! The study of stars is something that I love to learn about so I hope this post makes you care about light pollution.

Globe at Night has been gathering data for the past 9 years from 115 countries. In Globe at Night, citizen scientists look at the sky to see which stars they can see. Then the citizen would send their the data to the Globe at Night team. I found the data for the year 2015 on The Globe at Night website and I downloaded it. Then I sorted the data to display the countries that had the most contributions to the project, and finally I plotted the top 15 countries that participated. The graph that you’re about to see shows that people do care about light pollution effects. For an example, people in Croatia provided the most light pollution data to Globe at Night (nearly 2400 entries). The more people know about this, the faster we can cut down on casualties of birds, on how much energy we use, and the disruption of our sleeping habits.

MaritzaP2F1.png

This chart shows you the top 15 countries that participated in Globe at Night in 2015.

Sources Used:

“Human Health.” International Dark-Sky Association. 2014. Web. 01 Apr. 2016. <http://darksky.org/light-pollution/human-health/>.

“Light Pollution Taking Toll on Wildlife, Eco-Groups Say.” National Geographic. National Geographic Society. Web. 01 Apr. 2016. <http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/04/0417_030417_tvlightpollution.html>.

“Light Pollution Wastes Energy and Money.” International Dark-Sky Association. 2014. Web. 01 Apr. 2016. <http://darksky.org/light-pollution/energy-waste/>.

“Globe at Night – Maps and Results.” Globe at Night – Maps and Results. Web. 01 Apr. 2016. <http://www.globeatnight.org/maps.php>.

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