Everyone who loves looking up at the night sky knows one thing: to see the most stars … get away from a city.
In cities, artificial light comes from street lamps, buildings, signs and cars. All this unnatural, man-made light blocks out any chance to see the stars.
In Washington, D.C. a man named Jim Dougherty is fighting for darker skies. He and others want to turn down the lights in the city and not just to improve stargazing. They believe a darker night sky is good for the health of people and our planet.
The Earth appears to shine from space. What astronauts see as they circle the planet are the lights from our cities. This light creates a kind of orange cloud or haze that keeps us from seeing the stars.
Jim Dougherty is president of the International Dark Sky Association. He says the orange haze is light pollution.
Jim Dougherty says too much light is bad for your health. Studies find too much light disturbs our sleep, affects hormones and is linked to some cancers. He says light pollution is also bad for the planet.
But how much light is too much?