It’s been about 40 years since I’ve seen the Milky Way in person. That was at church camp when we set out one night to climb a mountain to watch a meteor shower. I can’t see the Milky Way’s majesty these days because of light pollution, and sadly, I’m not alone.
According to a new global atlas of light pollution, the Milky Way is “a faded memory to one third of humanity and 80 percent of Americans.”
All I see when looking up at the night sky is an inky dull blackness, or a foggy haze created by the lights of the city bouncing off atmospheric particles or clouds. This is what most of us in the United States experience on a nightly basis.
Sure, we have our national parks to visit, and most of the boast wonderful nighttime views of our home galaxy. But not all of us can get there, so we must rely on others to provide us photographs. I love those, of course, but that’s all they are — photographs.
The United States isn’t the only one missing out on views of our home galaxy. Light pollution is most extensive in countries like Singapore, Italy and South Korea. However, if you’re in Canada or Australia, chances are you’ll have a better chance of seeing the Milky Way in all her glory. In addition, only small areas of night sky remain relatively undiminished in western Europe, mainly in Scotland, Sweden and Norway.
You can read my full article on STEAMRegister.com.