How dark-sky communities fight light pollution

Ninety-nine percent of Americans live under light-polluted skies

“Have you ever seen the Milky Way?” That’s how my conversation begins with astronomy enthusiast Mark Laurin, a longtime resident of Colorado and consultant to a new development that embraces stargazing.

According to the latest research, for most people, the answer is no: Around 99 percent of people living in the United States and Europe live under light-polluted skies, unable to experience true darkness or see the Milky Way.

Communities across the globe are looking to change this. According to the Tucson-based International Dark-Sky Association, at least 15 towns and cities—many of them in the United States—have agreed to adhere to a list of guidelines that aim to preserve the night sky.