The new world atlas of artificial night sky brightness

Fabio Falchi, Pierantonio Cinzano, Dan Duriscoe, Christopher C.M. Kyba, Christopher D. Elvidge, Kimberly Baugh, Boris A. Portnov, Nataliya A. Rybnikova, Riccardo Furgoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Artificial lights raise night sky luminance, creating themost visible effect of light pollution-artificial skyglow. Despite the increasing interest among scientists in fields such as ecology, astronomy, health care, and land-use planning, light pollution lacks a current quantification of itsmagnitude on a global scale. To overcome this, we present the world atlas of artificial sky luminance, computed with our light pollution propagation software using newhigh-resolution satellite data and new precision sky brightness measurements. This atlas shows that more than 80% of the world and more than 99% of the U.S. and European populations live under light-polluted skies. The Milky Way is hidden from more than one-third of humanity, including 60% of Europeans and nearly 80% of North Americans. Moreover, 23% of the world's land surfaces between 75-N and 60-S, 88% of Europe, and almost half of the United States experience lightpolluted nights.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1600377
JournalScience advances
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The Authors.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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