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Can’t see the stars? You’re not alone — 80 percent of the world can’t either

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Joel Schroeder
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The stars at night may be big and bright deep in the heart of Texas, but for 80 percent of the world, that s apparently completely untrue.

In what may be one of the more unfortunate effects of humanity s activities on Earth, we ve now successfully managed to block out the light of the stars for the majority of the world.

Indeed, our own electricity-powered lights have drowned out the natural luminosity of the Milk Way, and in Singapore, Kuwait, and Malta, the night sky or rather, the stars in them are completely imperceptible.

Scientists were able to determine our dearth of starlight by collecting data from space from the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite, and coupling this information with computer models of sky luminescence, as well as field studies of sky brightness taken from both professionals and the public.

It s really one of the most thorough studies that we have to date on light pollution across the globe, Cheryl Ann Bishop, who is the communications director for the International Dark-Sky Association, which fights light pollution, told NPR.

The fact that we re bathing our planet in artificial light at night is a relatively new phenomenon, and it s essentially akin to a human experiment that we re only just beginning to understand the ramifications of.

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Joel Schroeder
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