This article is part of the #getsmarter Challenge. Read more about it down below.

The Night Sky is in Danger

What may sound like the description of a fantasy roman is the sad reality. In many countries, cities, places around the world people aren't able to see stars anymore. The problem is Light Pollution.

I've heard about light pollution before, but didn't knew much about it and it's impacts. Recently I went camping and it was dark enough there to see a beautiful night sky.

It's sad that some people can't experience that, cause it's truly amazing. I texted with a friend from another country and he told me he never sees the stars, which made me start doing research on this topic.

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What is Light Pollution?

Light Pollution basically means that our citys are too bright. The sky is polluted by light. Another word for it is "light smog". Like the smog in china makes your vision foggy, the "light smog" keeps you from seeing the stars.

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Why is it a problem?

Imagine you're in your bedroom at night, about to sleep. You can't fall sleep because someone let the lights on and you can't turn them off.

The circle of light and darkness influences natures processes, animals live by it and also humans adapt their days to it.

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Here is an overview of the effects of light pollution:

★ Distracting the eco-system

Animals of all kinds live by the rhytmn of day and night, so do Plants. The artifical lights distract their balance and behaviours.

For example the lights are dangerous for baby turtles on their way to the ocean, they'll get drawn away from it. Artifical lights cause bats to leave their homes later and come back earlier, which means they have less time to find food. So their babies have a lack of nourishment.

★ Huge waste of energy

Because of the use of too much lightning sources we waste a lot of energy and money. We don't need that much light.

★ The magic of the night gets lost

"The true joy of a moonlit night is something we no longer understand. Only the men of old, when there were no lights, could understand the true joy of a moonlit night." ― Yasunari Kawabata

The night is for thinking, feeling small, being inspired, and deep talks. Throughout many generations people romantized the darkness and made it a part of culture.

★ Negative impact on human health

It's proven that light pollution also has a bad influence on human health. For example it negatively influences our eyes ability to adjust to darkness. It can also cause sleeping issues and disrupt the production of melatonin, which controls the day-night-rhytmn of our bodies.

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What can we do to help?

  • Lamps should be adjustet in a way in which their light doesn't shine up to the sky. If you have a lamp with move detection look if you can set it, so it won't be activated by small animals.
  • Don't install unneccessary lights in your garden and watch out for the color temperature of the lamp, it shouldn't be more than 3000K.
  • Visit dark sky places! There are places and parks that are certified Dark Sky Places. There you can still experience the true beauty of a sky full of stars. How cool is that?!
  • Spread the word! The sustainable lifestlye finally made it's way in the heads of many people, but I feel like light pollution is a topic that doesn't get enough recognition yet, even though it plays an important role in protecting the earth. So please make others aware of that issue!
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Where can I get more information?

https://www.darksky.org/

"The International Dark-Sky Association works to protect the night skies for present and future generations."

Most of my information for this article is from the website of the IDA, which works and spreads awareness to protect our night sky.

So if you want to educate yourself on this topic have a look on their website, it's very interesting!

You can also google for a light pollution map to see how light-polluted the area you live in is.

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Thank you for reading!

Let me know if you ever thought about this topic. I hope I could spread some awareness and open some more eyes about it!

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Sources

https://www.darksky.org/

https://www.sternenpark-westhavelland.de/lichtverschmutzung-1/was-tun-gegen-lichtverschmutzung/

https://www.giga.de/extra/giga-foto-foto/tipps/was-ist-lichtverschmutzung-und-was-kann-man-dagegen-tun/

https://astronomiefans.de/lichtverschmutzung-ein-problem-das-jeden-betrifft/

https://open.spotify.com/episode/20p3aAwOOJYyyDv2tYcSDN?si=W9xH-oUSSfGH5MecSjSyaQ

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#getsmarter

As mentioned before, this article is part of the #getsmarter challenge I invented this year. The goal is to educate myself and others on topics I find interesting and / or important.

You can read about it here

xx Linda