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Dark Skies Awareness Blog from Thilina Heenatigala

A call to arms... er, dark

Ask any random person what “light pollution” or means, and the odds of you getting a correct response from a non-astronomer is pretty slim. It just isn't on the radar of the average person. But placed into context, “ Do you know why you can't see the stars at night? ” or “ Does light shining into your window at night keep you from sleeping? ” then the response often changes significantly. People understand those concepts, but what they need is an incentive to change their own behavior. That is a huge challenge, but it is not impossible. How? Make it important to THEM. First, we as amateur astronomers are the ones who know this issue best – almost all of us deal with it every time we observe. So what are we doing about it? Regrettably, many of us only complain about it, and do not do much about it. That has to change. More of us need to be engaged. Even if it is only for an hour a month. It's not enough to send $35 to the International Dark Sky Association every year, and conclude, “ Well, I did my part. ” We all need to do that anyway (or give to a local light pollution reduction organization), and also do more. I can hear you muttering, “ Okay Dave, but what are YOU doing about light pollution? ” Great question! Back 2008, I stopped being a “complainer,” and started writing an astronomy column in my local newspaper. I called it “Eyes... Read More..