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Protecting the Night Sky March 25, 2009

Posted by linta in organizations.
A Protected Night Sky

A Protected Night Sky

International Dark-sky Association (IDA), is a non-profit organization that is aimed at protecting night sky worldwide. Below are some of the features of the organization:

  • IDA was formed in 1988.
  • It was formed by Dr. David.L. Crowford and Dr. Tim Hunter.
  • Now, it has over 11,000 members.
  • Its goals include is to put an end to the dreadful consequences of light pollution, raising awareness about this issue and educate about quality lighting.
  • Its mission, as it is stated in the official website of the association, “is to protect and preserve the nighttime environment and our heritage of dark skies through quality outdoor lighting.

It is noticeable that the association was formed before 20 years which means light pollution is not a new phenomenon. It was right here, beside us. Not even lurching, if we had looked around us, we would  have been able to see it. But we never noticed until it became almost irreversible.

Source: http://www.darksky.org/mc/page.dositePageId=55060&orgId=idsa 



International Dark Sky City March 25, 2009

Posted by linta in organizations.

News about light pollution is not always depressing. For example, will you believe if I say that there is a completely dark sky over the U.S.? Don’t be so amazed. It is the fact. The city is called Flagstaff, which is located in Northern Arizona, a state in the U.S.

The protected night sky over Flagstaff

The protected night sky over Flagstaff

In 2001, Flagstaff was declared as the first International Dark Sky City by the International Dark Sky Association(IDA). This designation is given to cities or places “with exceptional commitment to and success in implementing the ideals of dark sky preservation and/or restoration, and their promotion through quality outdoor lighting.” If you take a close look at the picture of the protected night sky over Flagstaff, you can see numerous stars that you can possibly cannot see anywhere else. Amazing, isn’t it?

Sources: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap080416.html (image)


Thank You! March 19, 2009

Posted by linta in THANK YOU!!!.

I would like to thank everybody who gave their valuable suggestions and comments. I am glad that I could introduce this topic to some of you.

Now, about the suggestions. Thaso, I am really happy that I could present a totally new information to you. I assure you, Roksana, Farzana, and Crystal that my posts will not be that long. If possible, I will present information in point form, but it is not appropriate always.

Another suggestion from Madu, Safra and Zishrat was that the font size can be increased. I am sorry to say this, but I can’t change font size or type. Sometimes it changes on its own and I can’t really control it.

Sinthu, I have mentioned how light pollution causes environmental problems in my earlier posts. However, I would address that issue again in the future, if there is anything worthwhile to add.(I am sure there is!)

Prabi, your suggestion was a very good one. As you can see in my new posts, I have added captions to the pictures.

Meta, I am really sorry that the long writings made it difficult for you to understand what I was trying to say. What happens is that, while writing, I don’t usually proof read. Whatever comes to my mind, I just write. However, I will be careful about this in the future.

Hamshi, I will really try to connect light pollution with other types of pollution and compare them.

Zishrat, as you can see, I have addressed specific places in my new posts. In fact, I was trying to do so. In the outline I drew for the blogshop, it was one of the things I had added.

Geena, I’m glad that you like my blog and the pictures. In fact, it is a difficult task to find appropriate pictures, it is the most time consuming part for me in writing my posts.

Thank You All!!!

Come and Enjoy……….In light? March 18, 2009

Posted by linta in Proof.
1 comment so far

Light Pollution and the U.S.



The city of entertainment calls you: “Come on, let’s enjoy! In this bright night, we can find new heavens.” But you are like: ” No, Wait! ‘The bright night’? The artificial day, isn’t it?” (I expect you to say this!) Perhaps, the thing that makes Las Vegas really special will be the ‘artificial day’. The City of Entertainment has become the City of Light Pollution too. Are you totally amused by the enjoyment offered by the city? Then, take a look around. How many artificial lamps are there?

It is not only about Las Vegas. Most of the U.S. cities are artificially lit. An article published in the New York Times points out: “The neon glow from Las Vegas and its fast-growing bedroom communities are stealing stars from us.”
It is as though more industrialization means more light pollution. The situation in New York is not different at all. If you google the word light pollution, the country that appears most frequently in the results will be the U.S.  Take a look at the map that shows how the intensity of light pollution increased over the past decades and how it will be in 20 years.

source: http://www.lightpollution.org.uk/images/us_growth%20copiaLPweb.jpg

A Global Overview March 16, 2009

Posted by linta in Proof.

 People often say that among the prominent weaknesses of human mind, the “seeing is believing” feature is the most prominent one. But, at least in the case of light pollution, it is not the same. Though the proof is right in front of our eyes, we do not notice it. This time we can analyse such an obvious proof that we have been given by scientists recently. The Globe at Night is a program conducted under the auspices of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific(ASP) every year starting 2006. The report of the third study, which was conducted in 2008, has been published. The study was based on 6,838 measurements of night-sky brightness across the globe. The below image sort of summarizes the result.

 The intensity of light pollution across the globe

You may be wondering now how they measured light pollution. Well, they measure light pollution on the basis of the limiting magnitude value which shows the intensity of light in one place. In the above map, there are seven categories- limiting magnitude 1 to 7. A magnitude of 1 (bright yellow) shows high light pollution and that of 7 indicates almost no or less light pollution. If you look at the map, you can see how severe light pollution is in the U.S. and Europe. Though the number of spots are less in our continent compared to others, don’t be so relieved. It doesn’t mean that light pollution is absent in our place, it is here. But it is matter of relief that we can still control it by prompt action.

Source: http://www.noao.edu/outreach/press/pr08/images/gan-2008-map-sm.jpg

Why Is It Still Unnoticed? March 11, 2009

Posted by linta in solutions.


Today one of my friends asked me what my blog is about. When I told her that I was writing about light pollution, she was really surprised. She asked me: “Is there a pollution like that?” Here, who is to be blamed? As I had said in previous posts, most people are unaware of the existence of light pollution. When Ms. Jen brought up this issue in our homeroom, a few months ago, I was a little confused too. Once I did ask her why we call this phenomenon ‘light pollution’? When we say water pollution, we are referring to polluted water. Same in the case of soil, air or atmospheric pollutions. So, light pollution should refer to polluted light. But when we read the article “Our Vanishing Night”, the confusion regarding the name was no more. Before that we had no idea about light pollution. Though it is discussed by scientists almost all over the world, the public is still unaware of it. It is necessary that the issue should be given much importance because it is very harmful to the existence of both humans and other living beings. We have already seen some of the many negative effects of light pollultion. Who should raise awairness? Of course, us. Who else? We are causing light pollution, each and everyone of us contribute to it. So, it is our responsibility to bring it to attention. What we can do is that we can tell our friends and families that such a phenomenon exists and we are the reason behind it. A small change can make a big difference. If we try to reduce the amount of artificial light spilled out into the atmosphere, we can save our country from light pollution. It is totally possible because our countries are not that affected by it. If we don’t act now, as George Eslinger, the former director of the Los Angeles City Bureau of Steet Lighting says: “the entire globe will soon be wrapped in a glowing envelope through which none of the magic of the Universe can be seen by the naked eye.”             

Source:       http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2001/ast01nov_1.htm   


Light Pollution and Aquatic Life March 11, 2009

Posted by linta in Effects.


When you first learned about ecosystems in your primary school, what was the example that your science teacher gave you? At least in our region, the most common example of an ecosystem that is widely used is that of a pond. In fact, water resources are perfect examples of ecosystems. However, today, most water resources are being contaminated due to pollution which lead to the destruction of the ecosystem. Now, let’s see what role light pollution has in destroying aquatic ecosystems.

As you know, light is essential for the growth of plants. Then, what happens if the intensity of light increases? The algal growth increases. This will cause the increased number of alga in the water source which result in the overconsumption of the available oxygen leading to the death of other aquatic organisms. Also, the life cycles of different species are also severely affected by light pollution. For example, due to light pollution, the reproductory phase of some fish species is being altered, affecting their natural behavior. Moreover, it is seen that some fish species are attracted towards light which makes it easier for the fishermen to catch them.

Where is the Milky Way? March 10, 2009

Posted by linta in Effects.


                     Didn’t your mother showed you the bright band of stars shining in the night sky while she was feeding you? My mother did. Whenever we threw away her hands and ran without eating food, she caught us(my sister and me) and pointed at the long star band along with the shining moon. Then I didn’t know what it was but today I am aware that it was the Milky way, our galaxy. Can you figure it out today? I think, the mothers in my place are also having trouble in feeding their babies because the sky no more possesses the scattered pearls, the stars, in its lap. Isn’t that sad? Is this sad only for us? No, there is another group of people who are perhaps the most severely affected- they are astronomers. One who knows what light pollution is can easily understand how it affects astronomy. As the night sky glows as a result of the extra light spilled into it, stars will not be seen clearly. During day time sun hides the stars and at night artificial light does the same. This makes it difficult for astronomers to observe the night sky and take photos.  Also, due to the over illumination of night sky astronomers are having a hard time making light spectra which are helpful in discerning different elements present in galaxies.  

Image source: http://www.nrm.se/images/18.5fdc727f10d795b1c6e800070492/Milky+Way+light+pollution+September+2006.png

Let’s Reveal the Consequences on Wildlife March 5, 2009

Posted by linta in Effects.

les-vegasWe have been talking about environmental conservation and ecological balance in our classes for so long. What we have seen so far is that pollution, global warming, climate change, habitat destruction and deforestation are the major reasons behind the ecological imbalance that we are witnessing today. However, how many of you know that light pollution is a major cause behind ecological imbalance?

The artificial light that is spilled out into the atmosphere affects the behavior of many species. It has been found that polarised light confuses the animals. Most animals come towards glass walled buildings thinking that they are water sources and some insects lay their eggs on substances like asphalt that look like water. Also, it is proved that animals’ reproduction cycles are affected by light pollution too. Isn’t it obvious now that light pollution is much more than the absence of stars in the sky?

Sources: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7821298.stm


Why do sea turtles go away from sea? March 5, 2009

Posted by linta in Effects.
1 comment so far


Have you ever seen any sea turtles? These cute animals are found in all oceans other than the Arctic Ocean. Now, what about them? As you might have already expected, they are among the species affected by light pollution. Do you know that sea turtles lay their eggs on the coast? After laying the eggs, they bury them in soil and leave them there. After a certain period of time, when the hatchlings come out at night, the parents will not be there to direct them to the ocean. Hence, they move towards the ocean themselves and join their community. At night, the ocean will be glowing due to reflection and refraction of light so they can easily find the way to the ocean.

What happens now is that the coastal regions are also lit because of the fact that we,humans have placed many lights all over the sea coast. This makes it difficult for the baby turtles to find their way to the ocean and they go astray. Imagine we are going away from our parents in our childhood, to a world full of our enemies!

Image source: http://www.cornforthimages.com/galleries/Wildlife/Sea%20Turtles/Green%20Sea%20Turtles/Sea%20Turtle%20at%20Sunset_Kona%20Coast,%20Hawaii.jpg