Few hundred years ago, everyone could look up at the sky and enjoy the beauty of Milky Way.But now as we all know we can hardly see countable number of stars.According to 2016 groundbreaking “World Atlas of Artificial Night Sky Brightness”, 80% of world’s population lives under Sky Glow or which is commonly known as light pollution.This is obviously very disappointing for worldwide astronomers , but this also have various effect on human health, ecosystem and wildlife, energy consumption etc.
Few days back, one of my friend asked Why astronomers say it as light pollution, Even though it is not similar to water/environment/air pollution? In this no pollutant is present like in other cases to cause pollution.
But we know that from billions of year life on Earth is used to the cycle of light and dark created by illumination of Sun, moon and stars.But due to increase in artificial lights, it distracts the natural cycle of day and night. It is similar to noise pollution, Noise/light have effect on some of the hormones.Being in a lit place while sleeping effect melatonin and causes health issues. light pollution also causes huge inconvenience to Amateur Astronomy, as a result we are forced to drive 100’s of kilometers from city in search of dark sky.
All of us have a right to dark skies and to view stars and celestial bodies. It is the non scientific way of street lighting and unnecessary lighting of billboards and buildings that illuminates skies.Lighting has to be at proper angles, for example only on roads where people need it. Most of the street light throws lot of light upwards, these if shielded properly will provide light only to the road thus reducing the glow of city skies.
There is a dedicated group that is missioned to protect the night time sky called “The International Dark Sky Association”.It is the time for us to start a movement. For that we need to make people realize what they are missing.The calming effect of quiet dark night is amazing.You realize it only when you get out of the city and feel the immense beauty of starry night!