Star count reveals reduction in light pollution - The Leamington Observer

Star count reveals reduction in light pollution

Leamington Editorial 10th Apr, 2021   0

A STAR count undertaken by an environmental charity has shown a 10 per cent drop in light pollution compared to 2020.

The Campaign for Protection of Rural England calculated the drop after nearly 8,000 counts were submitted in February, including around 50 in Warwickshire, with half of people noting ten or fewer stars in the constellation of Orion. According to the charity, the observation indicates ‘severe light pollution’. Although this compares to 61 per cent during the same period last year

Thirty or more stars indicates truly dark skies which were seen by five per cent of the participants – the highest figure since 2013.

The charity believes lockdown is the most likely reason for this change, with reduced human activity resulting in quieter than usual urban areas.

The results have been launched to mark International Dark Skies Week which raises awareness on the impacts of light pollution.

It is thought light pollution can negatively affect human health and disturb animals’ natural cycles and behaviours.

CPRE and the International Dark Skies Association both aim to combat light pollution through local and national policies such as the use of LED lighting in areas where people are active, and turning off lights in places such as unoccupied office buildings.

CPRE chief executive Crispin Truman said: “It’s been an absolutely stellar year for our Star Count.Three times as many people have taken part compared to previous years and I’m delighted to see severe light pollution has fallen. It’s likely this is an unintended positive consequence of lockdown, as our nighttime habits have changed. Let’s hope we can hold onto some of this achievement as we unlock.

“Looking up at a starry night sky is a magical sight and one that everyone should be able to experience, wherever they live. And the great thing is, light pollution is one of the easiest kinds of pollution to reverse – by ensuring well designed lighting is used only where and when needed, and that there is strong national and local government policy.”


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