The omnipresence of artificial light, brilliant in its intentions, has become as much of a nuisance as a blessing in cities where we almost can’t tell night from day. Enter global light pollution. Is there any escape? The bright lights get in the way of astronomy–and affect animals and plants (who can’t just pull the shades down). Scientists are looking to “dark sky” initiatives to protect areas unscathed by light pollution; there are now dark-sky-designated areas in North America, South America and Europe. Interactive dark sky maps, courtesy of Esri, show where on Earth one might find respite from the glare–and where it’s at its most intense.