Night Sky Ambassadors

Lying on a dam, stargazing and sleeping out with the group I’m leading, in the middle of a camp in rural Kentucky. . There is a 0% chance of storms, and the sky is perfectly clear. As we look up at the night sky, a smog overcomes it. That smog is lights from an urban area a 20 minute drive away from us.

Coming over the trees, the lights of Owensboro, Kentucky, impede our stargazing. A yellow haze, exactly like the smog I used to see floating over Denver, Colorado, on really hot days when I lived there. The big dipper is halfway gone, swallowed up by the light pollution.

This probably isn’t a shock. We all know city lights impact your stargazing. It has been called light pollution for years, and when I traveled through Peru two years ago with Global Explorers, we all talked about being night sky ambassadors. But none of that really impacted me until I could see the lights impacting my beautiful stargazing night.

As the world becomes more populated and urban, so much is disappearing. Forests are gone, lakes and rivers are becoming polluted, the air is filling with smog, and fields are becoming parking lots. The night sky to some is an untouched wonder, but society is beginning to destroy that as well. We all need to be night sky ambassadors, by turning off our lights, and resisting growing levels of urbanization.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s