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Photos taken by astronauts reveal that light pollution is on the rise

The first color map of Europe at night created from photographs taken by astronauts from the International Space Station has allowed scientists to see that light pollution is increasing

Since 2003, European astronauts have taken more than a million photos of Earth at night with digital cameras to show the real extent of pollution caused by excessive street lighting.

A team of scientists analyzed the images over time and found a “clear increase” in light pollution in cities and a shift towards whiter and bluer light emissions due to the introduction of more efficient LED technology lamps, reports today. European Space Agency in a statement.

“By the end of this decade, all of Europe will be able to emit in the white hue,” said astrophysicist Alejandro Sánchez de Miguel, from the Complutense University of Madrid, in Spain, who has studied the harmful effects of light pollution.

Although the need for energy savings is leading countries to turn off lights in buildings earlier, scientists warn that pollution caused by excessive street lighting is altering the night cycle of people, animals and plants and preventing the sky observation.

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