Dark skies

There is no escaping light pollution on Earth — not on the seafloor or at the poles. Even above us, low-Earth orbit is crowded with artificial satellites and space debris that reflect light and spoil Hubble Space Telescope images (pictured). This online Collection explores the impact of skyglow on astronomy as well as other activities that rely on a dark sky. The Focus on dark skies in our March issue includes quantitative assessments for monitoring and predicting the increase in artificial light and its far-reaching deleterious effects. But there’s still time for mitigation. We only need the will.

Hubble Space Telescope image of an edge-on galaxy, showing a satellite trail to the right.

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