The researchers noted that the night sky was 10% brighter due to satellites and other space objects. They expect this change to become even more radical in the future.
Constellations of satellites and chunks of space debris orbiting the Earth and reflecting sunlight have made the night sky 10% brighter. This is stated in a joint study by an international team of astrophysicists.
“We expected that the increase in sky brightness would be negligible, but our first theoretical estimates were surprising and thus prompted us to report our results immediately,” said Miroslav Kocifai, senior researcher at the Slovak Academy of Sciences and lead author of the study on light pollution.
“Unlike ground-based light pollution, this artificial light in the night sky can be seen on most of the Earth’s surface,” said John Barentin, article co-author and director of public policy for the International Dark-Sky Association, a non-profit organization led by astronomers. “The expansive glow means that even the darkest parts with little light pollution will still be affected.”
“Astronomers are building observatories away from city lights to search for dark skies, but this form of light pollution has a much wider geographical reach,” the association said in a statement.
Scientists believe that the problem will only get worse as more satellites are sent into the sky. Other culprits for the change also include spent rocket components and other debris that reflect and scatter light from the Sun.