Light Pollution Surveys around the Seoul Capital Area: Results from 2009 and 2014

We conducted a series of light pollution surveys in the periods of 2009/2010 and 2014/2015 at ~130 sites within the Seoul Capital Area of South Korea. We quantitatively measured the night sky brightness in the unit of mag/arcsec2 with the ‘SQM (Sky Quality Meter)-L’ by considering the following conditions: 1) fully dark sky after astronomical twilight, 2) good weather with the cloud amount less than 10%, and 3) ensure no contaminations from nearby street lights to the measured value. We find that the night sky is getting darker from the center of Seoul to the outskirts of Gyeonggi–do by a factor of ~40. In both surveys, for example, the brightest site is Namsan Elementary School (Jung-gu, Seoul: 16.3 and 16.5 mag/arcsec2 in 2009/2010 and 2014/2015, respectively), located nearly at the middle of Seoul. Also, the darkest site is Goseong-ri (Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do: 20.1 and 20.6 mag/arcsec2 in 2009/2010 and 2014/2015, respectively), situated ~50 km northeast of the brightest site. In addition, the night sky brightness in 2014/2015 is on average darker by ~0.4 mag/arcsec2 compared to the brightness in 2009/2010, which indicates the reduced light pollution in the Seoul Capital Area. In this contribution, we will present the maps of the night sky brightness in the capital region of Korea from both surveys, and discuss the possible reasons for the changes in night sky brightness within 5 years.

Jinhee Yu

AUTHORS/INSTITUTIONS: J. Yu, S. An, H. Bae, E. Roh, H. Chiang, J. Kim, S. Kim, Department of Astronomy, Yonsei University, Seoul, KOREA (THE REPUBLIC OF)|S. Park, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Seoul National University, Seoul, KOREA (THE REPUBLIC OF)


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