The Light Pollution Map (lightpollutionmap.info) has an interactive map of the world that allows you to zoom in to see the levels of light pollution in our area and elsewhere. Green represents the darkest places in our area — Cheesequake Park, Sandy Hook, and the Raritan Bay. Purple is the brightest urban zones — Keyport, Red Bank, and the Route 35 corridor through Hazlet and Middletown. The greenish-yellow area represents the mid-range brightness of residential areas like Cliffwood Beach, Strathmore, Hazlet and Middletown.
According to the International Dark Sky Association, light pollution is the inappropriate or excessive use of artificial light. It can have serious environmental consequences for humans, wildlife, and our climate.
Components of light pollution include:
- Glare – excessive brightness that causes visual discomfort
- Skyglow – brightening of the night sky over inhabited areas
- Light trespass – light falling where it is not intended or needed
- Clutter – bright, confusing and excessive groupings of light sources
Time Magazine’s “Worsening Light Pollution Is Bad for Your Health” explains how light pollution isn’t just a problem for astronomers.
For further information, see the IDA website or a number of other excellent online resources.