When you look out your window at night, can you see the stars? Or are the heavens just a murky haze?
If you’re not seeing stars, you’re not alone. A new report says that 80 percent of the world lives under light-polluted skies — and the Milky Way is hidden from more than a third of humanity. Blame it on the artificial lights that shine at night.
So who gets those pristine, ink-black sky conditions? You can, of course, find a great night sky in any country — as long as you’re far from city lights. But according to the study, the 20 countries with the least light pollution are in Africa and Oceania.
Here’s the list: Chad, Central African Republic, Madagascar, Guinea, Somalia, Ethiopia, Liberia, Niger, Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Guinea-Bissau, Papua New Guinea, Eritrea, Mali, Tanzania, Solomon Islands, Mauritania, Uganda and Sudan.
Here at Goats and Soda, we’d love to see photos of the starry night skies if you live — or have spent time — in one of these countries. (Or even if you don’t live there and have a great night sky photo, send it along.)
Tweet your photos to @NPRGoatsandSoda with the hashtag #NPRNightSky from now until Wednesday, June 22, and we’ll feature some of them on our blog.
Need inspiration? Here are some photos we found on Twitter: