Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Light Pollution & National Dark Sky Week

  1. Nov 4, 2011 #1
    Have you ever experienced the wonder of the night sky? If yes, then you know that the universe has so much to offer us. However, within the next decade or so, the beauty of the night sky will fade away with time itself. Why? Light Pollution is taking control of our night skies.

    What is this light pollution? Light pollution is the excess light emitted by our lighting fixtures that intervene the beauty of the night sky. This is an increasing problem. As the population continues to grow and more cities are being built, more lights are being used to light them; thus, creating more of a problem. Some day, we will only be able to see Sirius, Venus, and Jupiter, some of the brightest objects in the sky. If this continues at this exponential rate, we will one day block out all of the wonder of the universe.

    What can we do to help alleviate the problem? First we can participate in National Dark Sky Week, which occurs from April 1st to April 8th (10pm to 12am ET & MT and 9pm to 11pm CT & PT). To temporarily reduce light pollution. Also, we can design lighting fixtures that emit less light into the atmosphere. The universe is our view into the past and our vision into the future. Wemust preserve its wonder.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 10, 2011 #2


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Physicspost, Welcome to Physics Forums. We are all glad to have you here as a contributor and value your comments.

    I am an amatuer astronomer, a Questar 3.5 owner, and recently spent seven years living in Amazonia. The night sky there was amazing: on a moonless night the Milky Way gave us enough light to walk in the savanna with no problems. Both the Large and Small Magellenic clouds are visible to the naked eye. The industrialized world wastes a shocking amount of light by sending it upwards into space. Just see any "world at night" image. Here are some facts about the USA:

    Electrical energy waste in the USA. Wasted outdoor lighting that shines upward into space is estimated at22,000 Gigawatt-hours per year. At an average of $.10 per Kilowatt-hour the cost of that wasted electrical energy is $2.2 Billion dollars per year.

Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook