2020 Student Research Conference:
33rd Annual Student Research Conference

Quantifying Sky Brightness in Missouri


Andrew D. Gentry* and Joseph R. Mott
Dr. Vayujeet Gokhale, Faculty Mentor

In this presentation, we compare sky brightness measurements made using the VIIRS satellite (Falchi, et al., 2015) to Sky Quality Meter readings taken at various locations around Missouri. The purpose of measuring sky brightness is to accurately quantify the levels of light pollution in Missouri. We take average sky brightness measurements on clear nights from ten sites across Missouri, and compare these to the corresponding VIIRS satellite data. Additionally, we use the VIIRS data to analyze how sky brightness in Missouri State Parks is affected by their distance from nearby light polluted cities. We find that the measurements made from VIIRS often underestimate the sky brightness in urban areas, and that light polluted cities correlate with brighter skies in nearby parks. This work is part of a larger initiative led by the Missouri Dark Sky Association to mitigate light pollution in Missouri because of its harmful environmental and ecological effects.


Keywords: light pollution, sky brightness, VIIRS, Missouri, dark sky, state parks

Environmental Studies

Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

Session: TBA
Location: TBA
Time: TBA

* Indicates the Student Presenter
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