Thursday, June 26, 2008

Blinded By The Light

The Milky Way Galaxy as viewed from 'light polluted' northern Virginia.

The Milky Way Galaxy viewed from Utah.

I took the first picture in my front yard in northern Virginia. The second picture was taken by an amateur astronomer in Utah. Sadly, light pollution is washing out the wonders in the heavens that we could be seeing.

Light pollution is a big problem in any populated area. Our area used to be known as rural, but the constant spread of population from Washington, D.C. has turned Warrenton into just another suburb.

In order to see sights like the second picture, I would have to move to a very rural location. Seems to me that during an energy crisis like the one we are currently in, one way to conserve a significant amount of fuel would be to tone down the lights to a reasonable level.

Following is a link to the international dark sky organization, a group that is trying to reclaim the night sky. They are not like the fanatical environmentalists who are telling us to live in caves, but are a practical organization that is trying to urge communities to tone the lights down to reasonable levels.

Also check out the Northern Virginia Astronomy Club 'Light Pollution' page to find out what that group is doing to reclaim the night sky.

Hoping for Clear and Dark Skies



1 comment:

Jacki said...

Now that is absolutely awful! And yes, I agree that cities can do much to tone down light pollution.