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Light smog over Berlin by Ralf Steikert is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Planetary boundary layer over Berlin at night



When we were ascending to 10,000 feet for light pollution measurements on the evening of September 20, 2011, Ralf Steikert snapped this photo of the "light smog" that seemed to float over the city. This phenomena occurs because light pollution is easily scattered off of aerosols (suspended small particles) below the planetary boundary layer, but not so easily scattered in the clean air above. The bright light in the photo is Olympiastadion. Click on the image to see the full size version.