Photos: Light Pollution Around the World

Because of light pollution, when clouds roll in at night, city skies brighten instead of growing darker, researchers find. Here are photos of the artificial nighttime glow. [Read the full story about light pollution and cloudy nights. ]

Lighting the night

The Sony Center at Potsdamer Platz in Berlin. This is the brightest area (in terms of skyglow) in the entire city, according to Christopher Kyba, a light pollution researcher at the GFZ Center for Geoscience in Potsdam, Germany. (Photo credit: Christopher Kyba)

Berlin's nightlife

Clouds above Berlin glow orange and brighten the night sky because they are reflecting artificial light. (Photo credit: Christopher Kyba)

Natural glow

Nighttime clouds in Glacier National Park darken the sky. (Photo credit: Ray Stinson)

Dark stars

The darkest night sky measured in the study was at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona. (Photo credit: Megan Gannon)

Night lights

A global map of night light sources assembled from data acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite. (Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory)

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Becky Oskin
Contributing Writer
Becky Oskin covers Earth science, climate change and space, as well as general science topics. Becky was a science reporter at Live Science and The Pasadena Star-News; she has freelanced for New Scientist and the American Institute of Physics. She earned a master's degree in geology from Caltech, a bachelor's degree from Washington State University, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz.