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Scientific Blog Post Mondes sociaux Year : 2018

The night sky and the risks of light pollution


The First World Atlas of the Artificial Night Sky Brightness, published in 2001 by Pierantonio Cinzano, Fabio Falchi and Christopher D. Edvige, stands out in the history of the ‘dark-sky movement’. Still today, it is a seminal reference work of collective research and one of the most cited studies on light pollution. Fifteen years later, the publication of The New World Atlas of Artificial Night Sky Brightness marks a new phase. This massive attention this study received in the media shows that the negative effects of artificial lighting are no longer only a problem for experts: this is now a public problem. This study also shows that, when trying to quantify light pollution, it is hard to go beyond the artificial indicator of “whether we can see the Milky Way with the naked eye.” This standard has been inherited from the history of struggles against light pollution by amateur astronomers. This new atlas of artificial lighting offers us the occasion to explore how urban lighting was transformed into an environmental problem with global impact, and to bring to light the solutions that are currently proposed, especially in France.
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hal-02080135 , version 1 (26-03-2019)


  • HAL Id : hal-02080135 , version 1


Samuel Challéat. The night sky and the risks of light pollution. 2018, ⟨hal-02080135⟩
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