Who has stolen the stars?

Who has stolen the stars? Light pollution has stolen most of the stars from our sky. We cannot see them now properly except in some places. In La Palma for example we can still see a very dark sky and the Milky Way easily. This is a shame, but hopefully we can travel to be able to see it with our own eyes.

What is the Milky Way?

The Milky Way is the galaxy in which Earth and the Solar System lies. It contains more than 200 000 million of stars and its diameter is estimated to be about 100 000 light-years (about 420 000 000 000 000 000 Km). From a dark location on Earth, we can only see a tiny part of our galaxy, only our neighbouring stars really. And only if you are on those dark locations you may be lucky enough to see the disk of the galaxy.

About 50 years ago, everybody was able to identify the Milky Way in the sky even if they did not know what it really was. Nowadays, due to light pollution, it is estimated than less of 70 % of Earth population in Europe or United States have ever seen the Milky Way. This is because, the light pollution has stolen the light of the stars. La Palma is still one of those few places on this planet from which the stars and dark sky are visible, even from populated towns. This is thanks to light pollution being controlled by law (Law of the sky, 1989). So, do come to La Palma! You now know that besides the beautiful landscapes and protected areas on the island, visitors can also enjoy the light of the stars. You can even try to reach them with the tips of your fingers!

 

If interested you may observe the Milky Way and the starry sky at one of the astronomical viewpoints or sites of astronomical interest on La Palma: Miradores astronómicos, or you can book one of our astronomy tours, where you can also see it through telescopes.

 

Milky Way poster by National Geographic.
Milky Way poster by National Geographic.

 

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