A recent article in The Guardian warned of the light pollution being emitted by satellites such as Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites. While providing all kinds of benefits to mankind, these satellites and some others allegedly emit too much light. The light emitted is light pollution and it brightens the night sky.
Light pollution is an issue and losing dark skies is a very real issue. The question is, in world that knows very little and cares even less about dark sky issues, do we start pushing dark sky initiatives in space, on Earth, or both?
What is light pollution and who cares?
Light pollution comes in many forms from light that trespasses from one property to another, to light that goes up and stops people and and wildlife from being able to see the night sky. The International Dark Sky Association documents many forms of light pollution, the effects of light pollution, and ways we can mitigate light pollution.
What is dark sky lighting, at least here on Earth?
Dark sky compliant lighting is LED light fixtures that lights up what needs to be illuminated without causing uplight that reduces our ability to see the night sky.
While I don’t personally know much about satellites causing light or the value the satellites provide, v. the cost to society via a less dark sky, I do agree that we need to protect our skies from light pollution. More of an effort needs to be made by communities around the world to become dark sky communities. Becoming a dark sky community is a local way to start preserving the dark sky for nature, our wellbeing, and the benefit of future generations.