Specialists sound the alarm. The stars may no longer be visible in 20 years due to light pollution. The increased use of light-emitting diodes is obscuring our view of the Milky Way and affecting the health of humans and wildlife.
According to astronomers, in 2016 already the Milky Way was no longer visible to a third of humanity, and light pollution has worsened considerably since then.
The alarming announcement of scientists
Scientists have warned that people’s ability to see the stars in the night sky could disappear in just 20 years due to light pollution.
In 2016, astronomers reported that the Milky Way was no longer visible to a third of humanity, and light pollution has worsened considerably since then. It is estimated that, at the current rate, most of the major constellations will be indecipherable within 20 years. The loss, culturally and scientifically, will be intense, according to (The Guardian).
Research by physicist Christopher Kyba of the German Center for Geosciences has shown that light pollution is currently causing the night sky to brighten by around 10% per year, an increase that threatens to erase the view of all but the brightest stars , in a generation. A child born in a place where 250 stars are visible at night today might see only 100 stars by age 18.
The increased use of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and other forms of lighting is now lighting up the night sky at a dramatic rate, scientists have found. The indiscriminate use of outdoor lighting, street lighting, advertising and lighted sports facilities now blinds our vision of the stars.
It is estimated that, at the current rate, most of the major constellations will be indecipherable within 20 years. The loss, culturally and scientifically, will be intense.
The argument against light pollution goes further. The bluish emissions of LEDs are almost completely devoid of red or near-infrared light, said Professor Robert Fosbury, from the Institute of Ophthalmology at University College London (UCL).
“We are becoming deprived of red and infrared light, and this has serious implications. When red light shines on our bodies, it stimulates mechanisms, including those that break down high blood sugar levels or stimulate melatonin production.
Since the introduction of fluorescent lighting and later LEDs, that part of the spectrum has been removed from artificial light, and I think that plays a role in the waves of obesity and the rise in diabetes that we see today.” he said.
However, making a modest number of changes to the lighting could make a big improvement. These measures include ensuring that exterior lights are carefully shielded, are directed downwards, have brightness limits and are not predominantly blue-white, but have red and orange components.