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Worldwide variations in artificial skyglow

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Nievas Rosillo, Mireia and Zamorano Calvo, Jaime and otros, ... (2015) Worldwide variations in artificial skyglow. Scientific reports, 5 (8409). ISSN 2045-2322

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep08409


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http://www.nature.com/Publisher


Abstract

Despite constituting a widespread and significant environmental change, understanding of artificial nighttime skyglow is extremely limited. Until now, published monitoring studies have been local or regional in scope, and typically of short duration. In this first major international compilation of monitoring data we answer several key questions about skyglow properties. Skyglow is observed to vary over four orders of magnitude, a range hundreds of times larger than was the case before artificial light. Nearly all of the study sites were polluted by artificial light. A non-linear relationship is observed between the sky brightness on clear and overcast nights, with a change in behavior near the rural to urban landuse transition. Overcast skies ranged from a third darker to almost 18 times brighter than clear. Clear sky radiances estimated by the World Atlas of Artificial Night Sky Brightness were found to be overestimated by similar to 25%; our dataset will play an important role in the calibration and ground truthing of future skyglow models. Most of the brightly lit sites darkened as the night progressed, typically by similar to 5% per hour. The great variation in skyglow radiance observed from site-to-site and with changing meteorological conditions underlines the need for a long-term international monitoring program.


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We thank Dan Duriscoe for discussion of the the maximum naturally occuring night sky brightness, Liz Perkin for hosting the SQM at the Hackescher Markt site, Tine Weinzierl for hosting the SQM at the Seebergen site, and Veneto Stellato for sharing their data. This work was partially supported by MILIEU (FU Berlin), the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Germany (PT-Julich under grant BMBF-033L038A), EU COST Action ES1204 (Loss of the Night Network), the European Research Council (ERC) under the EU's Seventh Framework Program (FP7/2007-2013)/ERC grant agreement No 268504 to K.J.G., Spanish grant AYA2012-31277, AYA-2012-30717 and the Spanish Network for Light Pollution Studies (AYA2011-15808-E). Data collected at Winer Observatory funded in part by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Goddard Space Flight Center), the Ohio State University, University of Iowa, and The Adam Mickiewicz University.

Uncontrolled Keywords:Night-sky brightness; Light-pollution; Hong-Kong; Visibility; Orientation; Efficiency; Radiances; Health; City
Subjects:Sciences > Physics > Astrophysics
Sciences > Physics > Astronomy
Sciences > Physics > Atmospheric physics
ID Code:29214
Deposited On:15 Apr 2015 15:59
Last Modified:10 Dec 2018 15:05

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