Many folks would like to see us back on the Moon and developing its resources.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Light Pollution - Hard to see what's out there

> Maybe you remember what got you interested in space exploration.
> Care to let me know?

Some of you have shared and thanks.

Some of us date back to before the Apollo program and life was
simpler. (and maybe gasoline was 25 cents a gallon)
There were no houses between my house and the one up the hill. We
could look across Lake Washington and the Seattle sky line and see the
Olympics. At night I could look up at the stars in a black sky. Not too many
street lights and they had ordinary light bulbs not high intensity
sodium vapor lights.

Today the street is solid with houses that have turned into two story
castles, can't see much of the sky line or the Olympics unless the
rain has cleared the air. At night there is a glow in the sky and harder to see the stars.

My brother lives north of Everett Washington, out in the country on a
little island cut by a meandering river. (which is flooding now that
the snow is melting) No street lights and still dark skies.

I would venture a guess that a number of you have experienced something similar.

If you have been to Las Vegas here in the states you probably
have seen the beam sky ward from the Luxor hotel.
Here in Tracy I have a very bright street light that reflects off of
the houses around me. If I hide in the back yard and look through the
trees, maybe I can see the stars, assuming the neighbors behind me
have there inside lights off.

I can probably see the full moon this Saturday as it will be the
biggest full moon of 2009. (which will make it hard to see Pioneer 10
in Taurus, sorry)

If you would like to learn more about light pollution, try this link.
Some of the links are dead but you will get the idea.
In a nutshell, Light Pollution is misdirected or misused light...
generally resulting from an inappropriate application of exterior
lighting products. Light Pollution comes in several flavors... each
with its own negative effects.

So I guess any aliens can pass the word, just turn left at that
glowing planet, they probably won't see you even if they are looking
up. :-(

Thanks for looking up with me. (or at least trying to)

Larry Kellogg

Web Site:
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Light pollution, also known as photopollution or luminous pollution,
is excessive or obtrusive artificial light. It obscures the stars in
the night sky for city dwellers, interferes with astronomical
observatories, and, like any other form of pollution, disrupts
ecosystems and has adverse health effects. Light pollution can be
divided into two main types: 1) annoying light that intrudes on an
otherwise natural or low-light setting and 2) excessive light
(generally indoors) that leads to discomfort and adverse health
effects. Since the early 1980s, a global dark-sky movement has
emerged, with concerned people campaigning to reduce the amount of
light pollution.

Light pollution is a side effect of industrial civilization. Its
sources include building exterior and interior lighting, advertising,
commercial properties, offices, factories, streetlights, and
illuminated sporting venues. It is most severe in highly
industrialized, densely populated areas of North America, Europe, and
Japan and in major cities in the Middle East and North Africa like
Cairo, but even relatively small amounts of light can be noticed and
create problems. Like other forms of pollution (such as air, water,
and noise pollution) light pollution causes damage to the environment.

Preserving the Starry Night in the Glare of Light Pollution

Published: December 25, 2008

DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK, Calif. — High atop Dante's View,
overlooking sheets of salt flats and ribbons of sand dunes, Dan
Duriscoe shined a laser beam at the North Star and steadied his
digital camera at the starry heavens.

Click. The sky looks dark.

Mr. Duriscoe panned the camera toward the light factory of Las Vegas,
85 miles away.

Click. The sky is on fire.



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