The Bortle Scale and Light Pollution
The Bortle Scale is used by astronomers to rate the darkness of our skies. It ranges from 1 (darkest) to 9 (brightest). For most of us, our daily lives are spent beneath a radiance level of between 5 and 8 and rarely venture into areas ranked 3 or darker- and what a shame that is.
Light pollution, while a testament to our technological advances, has blanketed our view of the universe and decoupled our relationship with the cosmos. For the millions of people living in areas where less than 20 stars can be seen in the night sky, it is practically impossible to imagine a natural sky blanketed with upwards of 2,500 stars backed by great ribbons of billions of stars which can be found in our Galaxy: The Milky Way.