The New World Atlas of Artificial Sky Brightness

Light pollution in urban centers creates a sky glow that can blot out the stars. The brighter the area in this zoomable map, the harder it is to see stars and constellations in the night sky. In the U.S, national parks are often a refuge for darkness; national parks are shown in purple in the map below.


This map is based on data published June 10 by a team of researchers led by Fabio Falchi and including NOAA's Chris Elvidge and CIRES' Kimberly Baugh.

View 3D Globe version of this map. KMZ data will soon be available freely for noncommercial use.

Falchi et al., Sci. Adv., Jakob Grothe/NPS contractor, Matthew Price/CIRES. Via
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“Maps are like campfires – everyone gathers around them, because they allow people to understand complex issues at a glance, and find agreement about how to help the land.”