Is Light Pollution Destroying Astrophotography?

Light pollution is a widespread problem, not just for astrophotography, but for anyone who simply enjoys looking at the night sky. And unfortunately, it looks like the problem is only getting worse. 

Coming to you from Astro Backyard, this interesting video discusses the increasing issue of light pollution. If you have ever seen the night sky in a truly rural area, you might have been surprised by just how much there is to see, even with just the naked eye. Given how relatively small the amount of light that reaches Earth from outer space is, it does not take much artificial light to overwhelm it, which is why it is so hard to see much of the night sky in even a medium-sized city. On top of that, we are now seeing increasing issues in space itself, particularly with SpaceX's launch of its Starlink internet service, which has already put over 1,000 satellites in the sky, with thousands more to come, which will only further complicate astrophotography work. 

If you would like to find a site with low levels of light pollution that is suitable for astrophotography, check out Dark Site Finder.

Check out the video above for the full rundown.

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6 Comments

El Dooderino's picture

I live in the mid-west, and as you can see on the Dark Site Finder map, I have to travel long distances to find large areas of dark skies. :-(

I don't really do much astrophotography (yet), but I can certainly see how it is becoming quite a challenge for those that do, and, as the video states, it's becoming more of a problem for everyone.

Trey Mortensen's picture

I lived in Arizona then Utah and now Michigan. It's been so tough since moving out here. At least the Great Lakes give some good darkness, so if you get to the northern edges of the state, there are still some areas.

El Dooderino's picture

I'm a bit south of Michigan, but yes, the northern edges are the closest to me. I love going out west to Arizona and Utah, MT, etc. The night skies are brilliant out there!

Cinnamon Green's picture

i don't do astrophotography but i do love it when i look up at the sky and i can actually see loads of stars.

Tdotpics photography's picture

I would love to shoot the stars but I love working with moving subjects why to much. But the images that are created look absolutely beautiful.

Robert Nurse's picture

I'd love to do more of it. But, living in suburban Washington, DC means traveling 3+ hours to find dark skies.