Monday, July 28, 2008

Will The Stars Go Out

Several people have asked me about my Dark Skies comments either here on the blog or at City Council meetings. This is what I'm talking about. The picture below is a light pollution map. The center X is Stafford. That RED blob just south of the center mark is Fredericksburg, VA.

From, the definition of Red is "Milkyway at best very faint at zenith. [The Adromedia Galaxy is] difficult and indistinct. Sky is grey up to 35 degrees."

At this point, we're only being outdone by Richmond and DC/Baltimore.

So what can we do? First understand that there are things we can do to lessen light impact both in existing installations and on new installations. Second, educate yourself on practical solutions, and encourage businesses to do the same. has tip sheets and suggestions to get you started. If you want to jump to a good/bad example, click here for a comparison of various lights. The City of Fredericksburg has at least started considering the impact of lighting, they have one ordinance specifically dealing with glare from lights. Lets hope that this chart doesn't get much worse, I will miss seeing the milky way at night.

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