How light pollution robs our view of the night sky

By Shawn Knight ยท 6 replies
Aug 18, 2016
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  1. As an avid amateur photographer that happens to live near a major city, I’m well aware of the impact that light pollution can have on the night sky. One of my bucket list items for years has been to capture a shot of the Milky Way galaxy but because there’s so much light pollution where I live, it hasn’t yet happened.

    To give you an idea of just how much of the night sky that city lights mask, photographer Sriram Murali recently put together an excellent video that showcases the various levels of light pollution and what you can (and can’t) see thanks to the modern amenity that is artificial light.

    Found is a TechSpot feature where we share clever, funny or otherwise interesting stuff from around the web.

    Thumbnail courtesy Kevin Key, Shutterstock

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  2. Odenwalder

    Odenwalder TS Rookie

    You might want to explore the Davis Mountains State Park in Texas. It is one of the least light polluting places in the US. I have the same item on my bucket list, by the way.
    Timonius and MonsterZero like this.
  3. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,934   +761

  4. MonsterZero

    MonsterZero TS Evangelist Posts: 440   +223

    Awesome video, too many damn lights.
  5. dob_1

    dob_1 TS Enthusiast Posts: 26   +10

    You ought to come down under and see the skies from the Australian Outback - way away from any cities of course! Awesome!
    Timonius likes this.
  6. Timonius

    Timonius TS Evangelist Posts: 647   +58

    Wow! Great video! I remember visiting family out in the country as a kid, occasionally on these trips we would find to a spot to stop at night just to look at the night sky. Seeing the Milky Way was always impressive, but not as impressive as in the later part of this video.
  7. gospelmidi

    gospelmidi TS Rookie Posts: 22

    On a neighborhood watch with the Texas Border Volunteers, in remote, sparsely inhabited south Texas, I saw the most awe-inspiring skies ever. I looked into the cloudless, moonless expanse through nearly-new night-vision binoculars and saw a spectacle that could crack the most hardened atheist.

    Viewed with night-vision optics, the continuous golden "clouds" of stars had no visible blackness ANYWHERE I looked, only bright patches and less bright patches on a continuous "sea" of pinpoints of golden light. Through the night-vision scope, the skyscape was unlike any photograph of the night sky that I have ever seen. It is staggering, even incomprehensible, how MANY stars show up through night-vision from a totally dark observation point, whether in a desert or out at sea. My immediate thought was, "How could anyone gaze at this and yet not believe in an all-powerful God?"

    The horizon was not as dark as Death Valley pictured in the above clip, as there were some faint glowing spots on the horizon corresponding to clusters of homes 15 or 20 miles away and small towns at least 30 miles away. A pulsing glow marked a ranch airfield beacon that must have been at least 25 miles away and maybe as far as 40 miles away, but a small commercial airport about 75 miles away was not visible. But those glowing spots on the horizon had no effect on the utter blackness around us.

    One pitch-black, moonless night, an illegal alien traveler walked straight into me, face to face. He took off running, neither of us ever having seen hide nor hair of the other.
    Timonius likes this.

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