Light pollution and concentration of anthropogenic photons in the Earth’s atmosphere

Press release


October 30, 2022

Ground-level photon volume concentrations (𝑁) in the Johnson-Cousins ​​band 𝑉𝐽, associated with the horizontal illuminance produced by the artificial brightness of the night sky, in an area including the Iberian Peninsula, northern Maghreb ( northern Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia), southern France and the Balearic Islands. CRS: EPSG:25830 – ETRS89 / UTM zone 30N. Pixel width 409.44 m. Grayscale in 𝑙𝑜𝑔10 (𝑝ℎ𝑜𝑡𝑜𝑛𝑠 𝑚−3 ). — astro-ph.IM

Light pollution can be rigorously described in terms of the volume concentration of anthropogenic photons (quanta of light) in the Earth’s atmosphere.

This formulation, consistent with the basic physics of light emission, scattering and absorption, allows light pollution levels to be expressed in terms of particle volume concentrations, quite analogous to what is currently done with other classic pollutants, such as fine particles. or molecular contaminants.

In this work, we provide the explicit conversion equations between photon volume concentration and traditional light photometric quantities. This equivalent description of light pollution levels provides relevant information that helps identify artificial light at night as a standard pollutant. It also allows a complementary way of expressing artificial light exposures for environmental and public health research and regulatory purposes.

Salvador Bará, Carmen Bao-Varela, Fabio Falchi

Comments: 15 pages, 2 figures. This is an author-formatted version of the accepted manuscript whose official version was published in Atmospheric Pollution Research, 2022, 13(9):101541, this URL https
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Optics (physics.optics)
Cite as: arXiv:2210.14131 [astro-ph.IM] (or arXiv:2210.14131v1 [astro-ph.IM] for this release)
Journal reference: Atmospheric Pollution Research, 2022, 13(9):101541
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Submission History
By: Salvador Bará
[v1] Tue Oct 25 2022 4:29:13 PM UTC (440 KB)

Co-founder of SpaceRef, member of the Explorers Club, ex-NASA, external teams, journalist, space and astrobiology, deceased climber.

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