Friday, May 11, 2012

A Fight for the Night - The Battle Against Light Pollution

Light Pollution? What is it?
For those of you who love astronomy it is something we dread.
For those of you who are new to the term light pollution is the problem of too much light.

When describing it, I always use this example:
"Imagine a candle in a well lit room during the day, no one hardly notices the candle light. Now imagine the same candle when all lights are gone during the night. The candle shines brightly and illuminates the room.
The same goes with starlight, bright lights will make it unnoticeable, but in the dark they are a wonderful sight."

I've been bouncing back ideas recently with my friend Vanessa for her study on Dark Sky Preservation. I've known light pollution to be a problem for us astronomers but I never really realized the depth of the problem. It is not only a problem that affects astronomers, but a problem on human health, a problem against wildlife, against the environment, and against energy conservation. Despite legitimate concerns and efforts geared to addressing the problem, profiteering usually gets in the way.

The sky is for all of us. It isn't just our problem but it is yours as well.

Here is a video from a TED X talk by Lucianne Walkowicz entitled Look Up For a Change

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