Crawford, David L. Retired, International Dark-Sky Association, Tucson, Arizona.
Last reviewed:June 2019
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- Origin of sky glow
- Effect on telescopes
- Components of light pollution
- Good lighting practices
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The inappropriate or excessive use of artificial light. One of the most familiar consequences of light pollution is sky glow, caused by artificial light sources on the ground that makes the night sky over population centers appear yellow, orange, or pink, washing out stars in an oversaturation of brightness (Fig. 1). Besides obscuring naked-eye viewing of the stars and the Milky Way from Earth, light pollution has a significant adverse effect on observational ground-based astronomy, which relies on discerning extremely distant, faint light sources against a background of lesser brightness. See also: Astronomical observatory; Astronomy; Earth; Light; Milky Way Galaxy; Star
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