Lost Meteors Due to Light Pollution

August 31, 2021


Perseids_Light_PollutionSMALLer (1)

Photographers: Tomas Slovinsky; Petr Horalek 
Summary Authors: Tomas Slovinsky; Petr Horalek 

A significant consequence of light pollution is “losing” weaker meteors that disappear in the glow of city lights. The closer to urban areas we live, the fewer meteors we’re able to count. This is demonstrated in the above photo comparison.

The left-side photo was captured by Tomas Slovinsky from the darkest skies in Slovakia (Poloniny National Park), having a dark sky Bortle rating of 2. On the photo at right, taken by Petr Horalek from Sec Dam in the Czech Republic, the dark sky Bortle rating is 4 -- still darker than most suburban areas. The difference between these two skies amounts to approximately one thousand stars, as seen by the naked eye. Obviously, more meteors will be seen on a clear night from Poloniny than from Sec Lake. Both photos were taken during the Perseid Meteor Shower in early August of 2020.

Photo details: Mr. Slovinsky and Mr. Horalek used similar equipment and post-processing. For the meteors, a Canon 6D camera and 2 x Samyang 12 mm lens was used by both photographers.