Why protect the night sky? For billions of years, Earth’s darkness has helped us—and other creatures—survive.
Before we began using electricity, only the moon and stars lit the night sky. While at sea, sailors used the stars to navigate. Stars also helped people mark the passage of time.
Artists also took inspiration from the night sky. In 1889, Vincent van Gogh painted The Starry Night. His view of glowing stars became one of the world’s most famous paintings.
Today, humans are affected in many ways by the loss of darkness. Darkness tells our bodies that it’s time to go to bed—so without it, people might struggle to fall asleep.
Animals depend on dark skies too. Baby sea turtles, for example, hatch at night on beaches and crawl to the ocean, guided by starlight shining on the waves. If there’s too much artificial light, the turtles can lose their way.