Avex’s map : Light pollution of Europe


Hello. light pollution maps on this page will not be updates .
Thank you to go to the pages of the EUROPEAN light pollution




3 versions : Classic , Astrophoto and Sodium

link for fast preview




Google Earth files (need google earth)

europe-classique.zip: <= Classic view


White : 0–15 visible stars (without planets) according to the conditions. Very high level of light pollution and all around. Typical of big urban centre and big regional and national cities.

Magenta : 25–80 visible stars. Principles constellations began to be recognizable.

Red : 80–150 stars : constellations and others stars appears. In a telescope, Some Messier object began to be observable.

Orange : 150–250 stars in good conditions. The light pollution is present all around but some darks areas appears. Typicaly the middle suburbs.

Yellow : 250–500 stars. Strong light pollution but the Milky Way can appear in good conditions. Some Messiers among the most bright can be visible with the necked eye.

Green : 500–1000 stars : far peacefull suburbs, Milky Way many times visible but very sensitive to the atmospheric conditions. Typicaly, the glare of light pollution take a large place in the sky and reach at 40–50° of elevation.

Cyan : 1000–1500 stars. The Milky Way is visible most of the time in fonction of climatic conditions but without contrast.

Blue : 1500–2000 stars. Good sky. The Milky Way is easily visible, we began to have the sensation of a good sky, but, some source of light pollution damage the sky and in a second time the sky by reflexion at the vertical of the observer.

Night blue : 2000–3000 stars. Very good sky. The Milky Way is present and powerfull. The light glares are far away and scaterred, they don’t affect the sky quality.

Black : more than 3000 stars. No light pollution problems revealable on the sky quality

astrophoto.kml <= Astrophoto enanced



sodium.kml <= Sodium



Precautions of interpretation

This map is good only for a zenithal cone of 50° (from the vertical of a precise location) and don’t show the light pollution toward the horizon. To consider the value indicate on the map, it’s understood that the observer may have not to be expose himself to a direct light source and he have to be sheltered from a direct light source. The precision of the data are not guarantee : this is indicated values and obtain with arithmetic and non-based from reality. Locals phenomenas as lighting of monuments or public buildings, or at the contrary the extinction of the light from a certain time can elude the data.
This map show the light pollution at the time of 23:00, during winter, with a midle quantity of humidity around 85 percent. The highway, due to the cars light are systematicaly counted as a source of light pollution. Moreover, the glowing due the cars crossing can reduce to nothing around 20 minutes the nocturn vision of the observer and the quality of the local seeing. Aquatic places don’t have to be take in consideration : the light propagation of the light glare was voluntary reduce in a clearness concern. This map show the urban places : artisanal places, industrial places, residential places and some big building (nuclear central i.e).
The elevation play a dominant role on the light propagation : more the observer is high, less the light diffusion is important. In this way, a city located below an observation point at 1000m higher will affect less the air quality for the observer contrary to if this last was been in plain (at the same level of the light source).
The efect of the elevation are semi-logarithmic : the first thousand of meters have an important role on the air quality.


1 This maps are and rest the exclusive property of Frederic Tapissier / AVEX or its beneficiary.
2 The author give the authorization to diffuse this map only in a private context.
3 The rights can’t to be transfer by the user to nobody and for any reason.
4 All print demand, diffusiob may have to be approove by Frederic Tapissier / AVEX.
5 No modification of the data, particulary the colors and the range of samples, the exploitation size of this map can not be operate without the autorization of Frederic Tapissier.
6 This PDF is protect by Copyrights and others electronics marks, and is protect against modifications and the exptortations of the containing data.
7 The author can not be consider as responsable of the use of this data in any way.
8 The author did not garantee the precsion of the data who are approximatives, the values are obtaining by arithmetic. This document can not be consider as an official basis for any works, and decline any responsability past, present and future of the using and the interpretation of this data.

8 thoughts on “Avex’s map : Light pollution of Europe

  1. Steph says:

    Je cherche une carte de la pollution lumineuse en Israel.
    Savez-vous ou je peux trouver cela?

    Ou si vous avez deja travaillé sur une carte du moyen orient en general…?
    merci d’avance pour votre repnse

    1. Frédéric says:

      Je regrette pour le moyen Orient d’une manière générale, je ne suis pas en mesure de vous guider
      Si la demande s’en faisait néanmoins sentir, je pourrai bricoler une carte pour Israel, mais depuis presque 10 ans que je fais des cartes, c’est la première fois qu’on me le demande ;)

  2. kiwi says:

    Je suis désolé, je ne parle pas français. Je vais écrire en anglais.

    Congratulations for the map, I really love it, it’s very beautiful and well-done. I also regret the lack of data for Greece. I would have three suggestions for making it even better:
    1. change the perspective. The way it is now, Northern Europe looks much bigger than in reality, even if there is much less population and light pollution there. That way it would be also much easier to cover completely all of Norway, Sweden and Finland.
    2. some territories, like the Channel Islands, are absent from the map.
    3. Introduce an extension to cover the left-out parts of Bulgaria and Romania.

    1. Frédéric says:

      1. i can’t i have not experiance with GIS software, all these map are donne in photoshop, and my raw altimetry data (DEM) don’t cover the top of scandinavia
      2. yes.
      3 i can’t : altimetric data missed too

  3. followstyle says:

    Impossible d ‘aller sur le lien de la carte Europe google earth. Pensez vous qu’il y aura une répercution possitive sur la pollution lumineuse avec le décret du 1juillet

    1. Frédéric says:

      merci pour votre retour mais je ne trouve pas de lien défectueux (je viens de les tester tous)
      pouvez vous préciser du quel il s’agit ?
      quand l’impact de cette mesure, impossible de l’évaluer pour le moment, les nuit sont trop claire en ilede france avec la proximité du soleil sur la ligne du crépuscule nautique (en gros il ne fait pas assez nuit)

  4. r2b38 says:

    Franchement, très beau boulot !!!!!!!! Espérons que ces cartes noircissent un peu au cours du temps !
    Merci pour votre travail,
    un astram qui lutte pour préserver le ciel !

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