Humanity is facing a loss of access to the night sky, which has led astronomers to create a new term called “noctalgia,” meaning “sky grief.” This loss is a result of light pollution, caused by our pollution of air and water and the excessive amount of carbon we are emitting into the atmosphere. Light pollution has harmful effects, prompting astronomers to coin the term “noctalgia” to bring attention to this issue and drive efforts towards combating it. “Noctalgia” embodies the collective pain felt as we continue to lose the ability to see the night sky.
Fortunately, there are ways to address noctalgia, similar to how we can tackle climate change. Various efforts have emerged worldwide to establish dark-sky reserves, where local communities commit to not expand further with light pollution. However, addressing light pollution caused by satellites requires international cooperation and pressure on companies like SpaceX to be more responsible in their use of the sky. This collaborative effort is crucial to preserve the night sky for future generations.