Why Don’t We See More Asteroids?

Feb 14, 2023
Updated • Feb 14, 2023

Everyone loves stars but hates the fact that they are disappearing. It wasn’t long ago that astronomers would gaze into their telescopes and assess the sky. One person who wasn’t impressed by this was Christopher Kyba. He was skeptical about the data collected by astronomers, as he claimed it relied on the assessments made by the naked eye.

Why Don’t We See More Asteroids?

What Changed? 

Christopher’s student wrote to him a few years ago and wanted to measure the sky’s brightness. This prompted Christopher to launch Globe at Night. This was a citizen project launched in 2006. It allowed students to track the stars they saw. When he downloaded and went over the data, his beliefs changed. Christopher has now dedicated his life to studying light pollution and uses data from Globe at Night to show how much it has increased over the years.

How Is the Brightness Tracked?

An astronomy research center in Arizona runs the project. Volunteers are given eight maps of the night sky in their locality. They have to look outside and choose from the map that matches the actual sky they see. They have to pick a map based on the brightness of the faintest star they see. 

Volunteers then submit their reports to the website for Globe at Night through any device. In 2011 and 2022, Kyba published his analysis along with his team. The studies revealed an increase in light pollution. The sky was brightened by almost 10% every year. This means the sky’s brightness is almost doubling every decade. 

Will We Ever See the Stars and Asteroids?

From the beginning of time, people have loved gazing at the stars and admiring their beauty. This has now changed, and artificial lights from urban areas encroach on our surroundings each day. The volunteers from Globe at Night also noted that the fainter stars are slowly disappearing. While it’s possible that certain areas on Earth are also affected by air pollution, light pollution is one of the major causes of not seeing stars and asteroids

Kyba says that the best way to solve this problem is turning off lights, but it has to be a large-scale change. However, unlike climate change, this change is not that difficult to make. He advises using only as much light as needed and switching them off when not required. If certain hoardings and streetlights need to stay on, they should be shielded from the sky, or they can point downward to make the stars visible again.

Light Pollution | Globe At Night | Stars In The Sky


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  1. Jojo said on February 15, 2023 at 9:08 am

    It’s clear that management is attempting to change ghacks and attract a different type of reader.

    Go here if you want old style tech discussion:


    The newsletter comes out weekly and has some great content! And discussions fork off the articles in their forums.

    The basic newsletter is free, which has a limited selection of stories in the full newsletter. But you have to pay for the full newsletter, which keeps the site running..

  2. Andy Prough said on February 15, 2023 at 2:15 am

    There’s a place called Fort Davis, Texas, where the University of Texas has a big observatory with some of the world’s largest telescopes. The town has regulations on light pollution, including not using unnecessary outdoor lights at night, and shielding street lights downward to illuminate the street, not allowing the light to go up into the sky. When up on the observatory mountain at night, with the town down below, you can see meteor showers and various satellites passing overhead with the naked eye.

  3. JoSi said on February 14, 2023 at 10:12 pm

    Asteroids, and a picture of a meteorite?
    And a GIANT, BURNING, one at that.
    How much more click-bait can you get??
    And what has that MIST* anything to do with this site?
    Clicked just to comment. Does that count?
    * German ‘shit’, actually ‘dung’

  4. Iron Heart said on February 14, 2023 at 7:33 pm

    I don’t know why we don’t see more asteroids. But I do wonder why we don’t see less of Shaun after all the voiced complaints.

    1. Andy Prough said on February 15, 2023 at 2:30 am

      @Iron – Actually, light pollution is a huge problem and is worth discussing. I would personally rather that Shaun write about astronomy, which interests me, than Windows and Apple products, which I know nothing about.

      @Jody – “Likewise, where will folks like you and I, Andy Porough and Tom Hawack get articles about registry edits, telemetry disabling, about:config tips or Chrome flags?”

      I get a bit of that info from here, but probably a lot more from other forums, especially the very active Pale Moon forum, the Phoronix website and forum, and the various Linux distro forums where I am a member. Also, I follow several video channels on Odysee that go into this data, especially the channel by Mental Outlaw (who himself seems to be a Ghacks fan).

      1. Clairvaux said on February 15, 2023 at 4:54 am

        If you’re interested in astronomy, read proper scientific sites. This article has zero value regarding astronomy.

        “From the beginning of time, people have loved gazing at the stars and admiring their beauty.”

        Wow… that’s very interesting… nobody knew about that.

      2. Andy Prough said on February 15, 2023 at 6:11 am

        @Clairvaux – “If you’re interested in astronomy, read proper scientific sites.”

        So you already knew all about Globe at Night? I found it interesting myself. I’ll continue happily reading Ghacks, but your concern trolling attempt is duly noted.

    2. m3city said on February 14, 2023 at 7:49 pm

      @iron heart
      Cause no one cares. When there were comments about the new layout of homepage, no one even cared to respond. I’m guessing that owners don’t see a value in users, just quantity and clicks matter. And when these go down, they will shut it down.

      1. Iron Heart said on February 14, 2023 at 7:59 pm


        > I’m guessing that owners don’t see a value in users, just quantity and clicks matter. And when these go down, they will shut it down.

        Shutting it down would not be undeserved if it stays like this. This blog used to be unique based on unique quality articles focused on OSes, browsers, E-Mail etc. Content for the masses is something you can also get elsewhere, and honestly you can get it better elsewhere. This road is not leading anywhere.

        I had my differences with people here at times but I don’t really see anyone saying that the new development here is great and disagreeing with me there, and that’s really sad. We all seem to pretty much agree that this is shit. If so, this website is doomed. Next to the articles, this website’s most valuable assets were its commenters.

      2. Jody Thornton said on February 14, 2023 at 9:11 pm

        Thing is, the new owners of Ghacks don’t want you getting that “general” stuff elsewhere. They want you to get it here. It’s no different than when Mozilla changed direction with Firefox. In the 2000s, nerds who customize and want privacy made sense as an audience. But when normies overtook the scene, and Google was running circles with them around Firefox, Mozilla wanted that action too.

        You can’t blame Mozilla, or Ghacks new owners.

      3. Iron Heart said on February 14, 2023 at 9:17 pm

        @Jody Thornton

        But why should I come here for that type of news? The other websites are better when covering the same topics and have a far larger reader base. This will never work, while they also piss off their traditional reader base.

      4. Jody Thornton said on February 14, 2023 at 10:04 pm

        Oh I hear you completely Iron Heart. When I saw some Martin articles on Windows Updates, Firefox, and some of the traditional Ghacks fare, I had to smile. But now, it’s hidden under mounds of ChatGPT, Shaun, Microsoft praise, and now astronomy.

        In Canada, you’ll find that in radio in which I work in, we have abandoned the post 55 demographic completely. Advertisers don’t want them, because usually that age group comprises of more steady, loyal consumers. Advertisers want impressionable, impulsive shoppers who are younger, and whose habits can still be moulded. So eventually, where does the 55+ audience get their oldies, AAA, and Classic Rock on the dial?

        They don’t. The audience is of no value to broadcasters if they cannot convince the advertiser.

        Likewise, where will folks like you and I, Andy Porough and Tom Hawack get articles about registry edits, telemetry disabling, about:config tips or Chrome flags? Not here, because Ghacks’ new owners want to chase that same audience, so they can eat ARS Technica’s lunch. You and I do not generate revenue for Ghacks. Done!

        I feel as poorly as you do, but dems the facts.

    3. Jody Thornton said on February 14, 2023 at 7:46 pm

      I really think most tech sites owned by larger companies wants “normies” to compromise their base now. Think about it: users of classic software like to hack, customize and disable telemetry. These things take away from image branding and information gathering. The old base likes to block ads. How does that help a site make money?

      Basically, we’re useless to corporations. What most tech giants want are impressionable, click happy, TikTok watching readers who equate anything Internet with smartphone use, and have little desire for Windows, Linux or browsers. That’s where the clicks, likes and the money is. As for us, we’re pretty much pushed off to forums.

      1. Iron Heart said on February 14, 2023 at 8:24 pm

        @Jody Thornton

        Yeah of course the comment section promoted the use of adblockers, I think it’s a safe assumption to make that most people visited this website with adblockers. You don’t make money with that.

        But, will they increase traffic with the new run-of-the-mill articles? Why should I go here instead of Ars Technica or MacRumors? This website is objectively worse than those. I don’t think this will work either. Like, at all.

      2. m3city said on February 14, 2023 at 7:51 pm

        Back to forums – a quite unexpected turn of events i would say. Forums seem to die compared to ‘social media’. Or maybe it always attracted specific, non common users.

      3. Jody Thornton said on February 14, 2023 at 9:14 pm

        I think forums attracted a specialized audience. It’s just that before social media, that WAS the audience for computing devices.

        Now Facebook groups fill the niche of non-tech forums, but for tech people, or tech minded people, forums still play a role.

  5. John G. said on February 14, 2023 at 7:29 pm

    I wonder if an asteroid will fall in my laptop while I am answering @Shaun’s articles like this. I could not be such a disgraceful fact in my humble opinion. However, I am asking myself if the author may give us some hints about in which sense it’s related asteroids and technology, that’s the useful point in Ghacks, the use of technology, computers and so forth. I meant the applied efforts of the whole itself. Asteroids by themselves are not too much useful in such this place. Anyway, thanks.

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