Posted March 08, 2018 12:18:33A map of Australian skies has revealed a startling new phenomenon – the blue light pollution in our skies.
Key points:The Blue Light Pollution map has revealed how the sky looks with the pollution in the night skyNew research has revealed the extent of blue light in the skyNew findings suggest we can improve the quality of our lighting environmentThe new map, called the Blue Light Filter, was created by researchers at the University of Melbourne and University of Western Australia and uses Google Maps data to analyse the colour and intensity of light in different parts of the sky.
The map shows blue light levels in the southern skies over Melbourne and Perth.
Blue light is the form of light emitted by a white light source that can be harmful to our eyes.
“In our urban areas, you can see blue light that is a very intense, red colour,” Professor John Rennie said.
“It’s much less visible in the skies of Sydney, Adelaide and the outer suburbs.”
Professor Renn, who has been studying light pollution since the 1980s, said blue light was the main driver of pollution in urban areas.
“The blue light comes from a lot of sources, so you can find a lot more blue light than you think you can,” he said.
The data reveals that about 25 per cent of the total light pollution comes from sources such as cars, homes, office buildings and streetlights.
“We see it most commonly in the morning when people are walking or cycling,” Professor Renn said.
In some parts of Melbourne, the sky is darker than usual.
Professor Rinnie said this was because blue light is often emitted from streetlights, and people in the city often use streetlights in places where they’re not supposed to be.
“This is probably why it is so bright in certain parts of city,” he told the ABC.
“If you’re walking into a restaurant, and it’s really dark in the streetlights and you walk in, that is the light you’re actually seeing.”
You’re not seeing the real streetlight.
You’re seeing the streetlight in the dark.
“Professor John Rinn said it was important to use the blue filter when using streetlights to ensure the street is safe.”
So if you’re in the middle of a street, it will not look as bright as if you were just standing right in front of the street, or if you’ve just come from a dark alley or something,” he explained.”
And so if you look at a map of the city, if you know where the lights are, and you know how much blue light they are emitting, you know what you’re doing.
“That’s really the point of using the blue noise filter.
You want to make sure the street lights are safe.”
Professor Jarryd Hines, from the University in Perth, said it wasn’t surprising that blue light had such an effect on the environment.
“I think it’s because blue is so visible, so easy to spot,” he noted.
“But I think that it’s also because people are using street lights in certain areas.”
Professor Hines said street lights were not the only source of blue lights in our sky.
“There’s a lot less blue light to the sky than you might think,” he added.
“Our research has found that the red light that’s emitted by car headlights is actually a little bit less of a problem for our health.”
Car headlights are about twice as blue light-emitting diodes as the light emitted from a street lamp.
“Professor David Smith, from Melbourne’s James Cook University, said the new map was a great start for public health.
He said it would be good to work with the City of Melbourne to improve street lighting, especially at night.”
When you look out at the night-time sky, you’re often looking through the street light that was turned on,” he remarked.”
People should use the street lamp and try and get as much blue out as possible.
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