Humanity is facing the loss of access to the night sky, prompting astronomers to coin a new term called “noctalgia,” which means “heavenly sadness.” This loss is the result of light pollution, caused by our air and water pollution and the excessive amount of carbon we emit into the atmosphere. Light pollution has harmful effects, prompting astronomers to coin the term “noctalgia” to draw attention to the issue and initiate efforts to combat it. “Noctalgia” embodies the collective pain we feel as we continue to lose our ability to see the night sky.
Fortunately, there are ways to deal with noctalgia, much like we can deal with climate change. Various efforts have sprung up around the world to establish dark sky reserves, where local communities pledge not to spread further 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 critical to preserving the night sky for future generations.