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Einfluss auf Mensch 
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Seiten erstellt von 
Dr. Andreas Hänel

Light pollution as seen from the DMSP satellites
The american satellites of  DMSP (Defense Meteorological Satellite Program) scan the lights of the Earth at night.
Actual maps of low resolution can be found under:
Such measurements were used to create the fascinating map with artificial light of the Earth geschaffen.

In the meantime data from several satellites from the years 1992 to 2003 have been compiles. These data are available through the www and have been adapted by us:


(c) A. Hänel

(c) A. Hänel

(c) A. Hänel

(c) A. Hänel

This map shows the difference between 2002 and 1993: 

Yellow means an increase of upward light between 1993 and 2002, red an even higher increase. Pink und blue shows a decrease. The decrease in some regions of the Netherlands can be explained with the enormous areas of illuminated greenhouses, that are allowed to switched on only during certain time, in 1993 they were swithced on, but in 2002 off. Why the light around London has been decreased is unknown, it might be an instrumental effect.

Pixel size is 0,5', corresponding to  0,6 km x 1 km in central Europe.
These maps show only the upward lights, that the satellites measure.
In fact, light is scattered in the atmosphere, which results in the fact that fainter stars are not visible. This has been modelled in the first world atlas of light pollution by Pierantonio Cinzano, calibrated in sky background brightness in mag/arcsec².

The maps of Frederic Tapissier have a high resolution, but they are based on data for cities and commercial areas, to which he has attributed a certain brightness, and afterwards smeared to model light propagation in the atmosphere.

georeferenced (zip)

Streets have been overlayed on this map of germany for 2002, to facilate orientation. 
Users of moving map software (Fugawi, OziExplorer, Touratech) can use the georeferenced map and with a GPS the actual position can be shown.

Light pollution map for central Europe

for the year 2002, geo-referenced (zip)

For GoogleEarth
It is problematic to overlay streets , towns and their names for copyright reasons. But it is possible to overlay the maps onto the GoogleEarth maps, if GoogleEarth is installed on the PC:

By this way everybody in central Europe has the possibilty to compare the different data with his own observing experiences!

Seiten erstellt von Dr. Andreas Hänel -