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By Luis Otero
This makes it difficult to see the stars well, and even the moon can be dwarfed. The effect is exacerbated by particles, aerosols, and gases that reflect electromagnetic waves. Hong Kong is the most light-polluted city on the planetAccording to a study by the University of Tokyo: the night there is a thousand times brighter than the limit set by the scientific community.
Among the detailed investigations on this issue, the most important was the one that led to the first world atlas of zenith brightness in 2001, the only one that exists to date to measure this factor at a global level. The study, prepared by Italian and American scientists from satellite data and images, revealed that half of Europeans and two-thirds of Americans cannot see the Milky Way with the naked eye. Andalusia, Levante, Madrid, Catalonia, Cantabrian-Ebro Valley and the Atlantic axis (La Coruña-Lisbon) are contaminated areas in the Iberian Peninsula.
As for cities, Madrid, Barcelona and Seville are the most illuminated points. As the problem seems to escalate, the International Dark Sky Association (IDA) has proposed preserve the nighttime sky as much as possible and collaborate with the Skyglow project.
Its promoters are the photographers Gavin Heffernan and Harun Mehmedinovic, who show in their images what the celestial vault would be like if American cities did not suffer from excess lighting. One of the first locations chosen was the city of Los Angeles: according to the IDA, the brightness of its lights is visible from an airplane located more than 320 kilometers high.