How does light pollution work?

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Why can’t I see the stars in the city as opposed to the countryside?

In: Planetary Science

3 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Imagine it’s nighttime and the stars are on, but there are too many city lights on. The city lights mix up the star light, making it harder to see the stars. That’s what we call “light pollution.” It’s when too much artificial light is shining up into the sky instead of down where we need it.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Have you ever shined a flashlight into the air on a really foggy night? Do you remember how the flashlight made a bright beam in the air that you couldn’t see through? The air is always a tiny bit foggy, so lots of bright lights make the air brighter and harder to see through. Little tiny lights like stars, get washed out by the bright lights on the slightly foggy air.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The same way sunlight can “light up the sky” and turn it blue, human made light will “scatter” and spread out through the atmosphere, lighting it up, obscuring the much fainter starlight that is trying to come down through the atmosphere.