The new world atlas of artificial night sky brightness

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Abstract

Artificial lights raise night sky luminance, creating themost visible effect of light pollution-artificial skyglow. Despite the increasing interest among scientists in fields such as ecology, astronomy, health care, and land-use planning, light pollution lacks a current quantification of itsmagnitude on a global scale. To overcome this, we present the world atlas of artificial sky luminance, computed with our light pollution propagation software using newhigh-resolution satellite data and new precision sky brightness measurements. This atlas shows that more than 80% of the world and more than 99% of the U.S. and European populations live under light-polluted skies. The Milky Way is hidden from more than one-third of humanity, including 60% of Europeans and nearly 80% of North Americans. Moreover, 23% of the world's land surfaces between 75-N and 60-S, 88% of Europe, and almost half of the United States experience lightpolluted nights.

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Falchi, F., Cinzano, P., Duriscoe, D., Kyba, C. C. M., Elvidge, C. D., Baugh, K., … Furgoni, R. (2016). The new world atlas of artificial night sky brightness. Science Advances, 2(6). https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.1600377

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