среда, 31 июля 2019 г.

A satellite to measure light pollution

NOAA & NASA — Suomi NPP Mission patch.

July 31, 2019

An ETH Zurich researcher came up with the idea of ​​analyzing data from an American satellite to determine nocturnal light pollution in Switzerland.

Suomi NPP satellite. Image Credits: NOAA / NASA

Analyzing the data of an American satellite to determine nocturnal light pollution in Switzerland: this is the idea of ​​a Swiss researcher. The result is a map that compares with previous years.

Every morning early, the Suomi NPP (Suomi National Polar-Orbiting Partnership) dedicated to environmental monitoring measures light sources around the world. This US satellite meticulously carries out its tasks day after day since April 2012. NOAA, the US ocean and atmospheric observation agency, collects this data «to monitor and understand the dynamics of our planet,» according to its website.

Member of Dark-Sky Switzerland

A biochemist who graduated from the ETH Zurich and is a member of the organization Dark-Sky Switzerland, which campaigns against nocturnal light pollution, Lukas Schuler came up with the idea of ​​creating a map based on these surveys.

Light pollution in Switzerland last year. (Photo: Darksky.ch)

His work, published in the journal Environmental Science & Policy, allows to visualize the night light load in all Switzerland, according to a scale of colors. Comparisons with previous years are possible, as well as trend analysis, according to a statement from Dark-Sky Switzerland published Wednesday.

Shipyards and tourism

Significant increases in luminous intensity are therefore attributable in most cases to large construction sites and new infrastructure, as well as to winter tourism. The decreases are due to the switch to LEDs with anti-scattering protection and better lighting strategies.

This progress is important in light of the growing light pollution and its impact on the fauna and flora. In particular, it is suspected of contributing to the disappearance of pollinating nocturnal insects, without forgetting its disturbing potential for humans.

The authors have examined various aspects of this problem, for example possible links between a decrease in light intensity and criminal acts or road accidents. They found no correlation.

They also analyzed the habitats of crayfish populations in the canton of Zurich. Result: these crustaceans clearly prefer dark areas, corresponding to a maximum brightness of 4.5 full moons, according to a measurement unit developed by the researchers.

Related links:

Dark-Sky Switzerland: https://www.darksky.ch/dss/fr/

Article Dark-Sky Switzerland: https://www.darksky.ch/dss/fr/2019/07/la-suisse-est-anormalement-lumineuse-la-nuit/

EPFZ (ETH Zürich): https://ethz.ch/en.html

NOAA & NASA Suomi NPP: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/NPP/main/index.html
and  https://www.nesdis.noaa.gov/tags/suomi-npp

Images (mentioned), Text, Credits: ATS/NOAA/NASA/Orbiter.ch Aerospace/Roland Berga.

Greetings, Orbiter.chArchive link

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