What would it be like without stars at night? What is it we lose? Starry night skies have given us poetry, art, music and the wonder to explore. A bright night sky (aka light pollution) affects energy consumption, health and wildlife too. Spend a few minutes to help scientists by measuring the brightness of your night sky. Join the GLOBE at Night citizen-science campaign (www.globeatnight.org). The first campaign starts January 3 and runs through January 12.
Anyone who enjoys the starry night sky is probably well aware of the effects of light pollution on viewing the starry skies. And light pollution comes in many forms including the reflected light from the Moon – as I experienced earlier this morning while trying to take pictures of the Quadrantid Meteors. Moonlight was bright enough that I did not need my pocket flashlight to adjust settings on my camera!
This animated graphic shows part of Arabia at night at different Moon phases. An insert picture of the Moon at the phase when the picture was taken has been added. Check out the original images on the NASA Earth Observatory web site showing the effects of moonlight on the surface of the Earth – as seen from orbit.
Here is a short story about light pollution I wrote years ago as part of an achievement award for Girl Scouts. Aunt Nan’s Missing Star.
Click here to learn more about light pollution from the International Dark Sky Association.
Here is a wonderfully illustrated and narrated story about the effects of light pollution on what we are unable to see in the night skies as a result. More importantly it shows how light polluted night skies have an effect on living things – especially those that are night types. (8 minutes)
Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information.