Light pollution in Fort Worth, TX

Light pollution is everywhere — and here’s why that’s actually really good news.

FTW Clock Tower 1

Imagine this view, but full of stars.

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Did you know that the starry sky in Fort Worth is one of a kind? Seriously, no two places in the world have the same view of the stars — talk about local.

The thing is, it’s likely you’ve never gotten to fully appreciate the night sky. For example, if you live downtown, you probably won’t see:

  • Zodiacal lights, the cone of light above sunrise + sunset points
  • Meteor showers, like the Lyrids in mid-April, the Perseids in August, the Geminids + Ursids in December.
  • The Milky Way, visible as a yellow-orange band of light in the night sky

In fact, we’re betting the sky at night is light gray or orange, and bright enough to read by. So, are we psychic? Well, maybe — but these are all effects of light pollution.

Light?!

DYK that Fort Worth has the lowest measurement for light pollution in the United States, ranking the ninth best city for stargazing on Compare the Market’s list of 30 international cities.

You may not think of light as a pollutant, but seven million people all pointing lights into the night sky can have a serious effect on natural cycles that rely on light + the stars. Think:

  • Birds that pathfind using constellations
  • Insects attracted to light (like a moth to a flame, you could say)
  • Plants that use light to know when to grow + shed leaves
  • All creatures (even humans) that rely on day-night cycles for sleep

Even setting aside the ecosystem, it’s hard to argue with the view. (For reference, the sky above Fort Worth is a class 8-9 on the Bortle scale.)

Here’s something you won’t expect…

This is really good news. Of all the pollution that feels out of our control, light pollution is actually completely reversible. The International Dark Sky Association has resources to help you use artificial light conscientiously.

Cure your FOMO by joining a “star party” hosted by Fort Worth Astronomical Society.