How Light Pollution Really Affects Your View of the Night Sky

It might be easy to forget the brilliance of the night sky when brightly lit skylines and cities that ‘never sleep’ have become the norm for so many.

But, a stunning new short film now stands as a stark reminder.

The 2-minute film follows the Orion constellation across the United States, revealing how light pollution masks the stars almost entirely in major cities – and, how in rural areas free of the effects, even the Milky Way could show itself.

Lost in Light II – a short film on Light Pollution,’ from filmmaker and night sky photographer Sriram Murali, pans across several ‘levels’ of light pollution, from San Francisco (level 8) to Goblin Valley State Park, Utah (level 1).

For those who live in the city, the sight of a star-filled sky and a glimpse of the Milky Way may seem a far off wonder.

But, in places such as Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park, both in Utah, the striking sight of dense constellations is very much a reality.

There are several so-called ‘Dark Sky Reserves’ around the world, which offer remarkable views of the stars, even revealing interstellar dust clouds within the Milky Way.

In the US, the International Dark-Sky Association recently designated the 1,400-square-mile Central Idaho as one of these sites.

Light pollution isn’t just ruining the view, Murali explains.

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02 Jan