Survey shows little improvement on light pollution


A SURVEY conducted by astronomers has found no real improvement in the amount of wasted light being pumped into Britain’s skies.

Findings show more than half the population still experience severe light pollution.

The Milky Way is obliterated due to light pollution  Photo:ESO

The results of the Campaign for Dark Skies (CfDS) annual Star Count Survey show that just over half (53%) of the people taking part could see 10 stars or fewer within the constellation of Orion – indicating severe light pollution in their area.

Almost one thousand location reports revealed that only one in ten (9%) participants could see between 21 and 30 stars and just 2% of people had truly dark skies, seeing 31 or more stars.

The proportion of people taking part in the survey who live with severe light pollution was down from 54% in 2007.

The results suggest that, despite good initiatives to reduce light pollution in some places, the contamination of Britain’s night skies continues largely unchecked.

Bob Mizon, Campaign for Dark Skies Coordinator, says: “Light pollution is a disaster for anyone trying to study the stars. It’s like a veil of light is being drawn across the night sky, denying many people the beauty of a truly starry night.

“Many children growing up today will never see the Milky Way; never see the unimaginable glory of billions of visible stars shining above them.”


The full star count maps for 2011 and 2007 can be downloaded here: 2012, 2011 and 2007.