Far too many people have no idea what a good night sky looks like. Our vision of the universe is spoiled by the effects of light pollution. The streetlights, headlights, and neon lights of modern life work together to blot out the stars, planets, and gas clouds of the Milky Way. This graphic showing the from Stellarium.org, the free open source planetarium, is a great way to see how degraded our view of the night sky can get by light pollution.


The Bortle light pollution scale.


Stellarium is incorporating a light pollution simulation into the latest version of the planetarium program. Swing by, download it, and try it out.



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Shea Gunther is a podcaster, writer, and entrepreneur living in Portland, Maine. He hosts the popular podcast "Marijuana Today Daily" and was a founder of Renewable Choice Energy, the country's leading provider of wind credits and Green Options. He plays a lot of ultimate frisbee and loves bad jokes.

Bortle Light Pollution Scale
The Bortle Light Pollution Scale is a good model for understanding how tainted our night skies are by light pollution.