The Pain Stargazers Feel Over the Loss of Dark Skies

Since the dawn of humanity, people have looked up into the night sky to see the stars. Observing them allowed us to learn how the universe works, how to mark time with calendars, and how to navigate around the world. But in our modern world, light pollution means that city dwellers never see stars, much less the further reaches of the Milky Way, and even in small towns it's hard to discern what's going on up there. If you want to see a meteor shower, for example, you have to drive long distances out into the wilderness. But even in the most remote places on earth, skies are brighter than they used to be. LED lights save energy, but that just means we use more of them and leave the lights on all night. And even if you find a remote dark area, the sky itself is full of satellites that get in the way of natural phenomena.   

Astronomers have coined a new word that describes the sadness one feels at the loss of stargazing opportunities: noctalgia. Read how this emotion came into being, and what it means at  -via Metafilter

(Image credit: Brucewaters

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40 years ago one could see the Andromeda Galaxy with their naked eyes in the Houston area. Today, we're lucky to be able to see Orion.
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