The luminous haze that obscures our view of the constellations – light pollution -is one of the most prevalent forms of environmental alteration. Its impact is felt across a swath of life from the migration of sea turtles to the circadian rhythm of humans.
A new atlas of light pollution created by an international team of scientists reveals just how pervasive this artificial glow is. The 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.