November 22, 2019

The AMA Joins the Fight!

Astronomers now have a new powerful ally in the fight against light pollution; the American Medical Association(AMA). The June 16, 2009 vote was passed unanimously to recognize light pollution as a health hazard, further moving the cause from a special interest plea to a general mainstream concern. The AMA has echoed with its large voice what we’ve suspected all along; humans need darkness. A lack thereof in major urban areas has encroached on the suburbs and formerly pristine rural areas and can contribute to sleep deprivation and elevated stress levels. In addition, the glare itself can pose a safety hazard for night-time drivers. I’ve personally driven in many urban areas were headlights weren’t even necessary, and hence forgot to turn them on! And let’s not forget the impact on wildlife, or the waste in cash, illuminating the undersides of aircraft…. or the needless increase in CO2 emissions. Let’s hope this not-so-minor move brings back our night skies!

AstroEvent of the Week: February 2nd-8th, 2009; Spot a Daytime Venus!

A Daytime Venus Shortly After Occultation. (Video by Author).

 

Astronomy isn’t just restricted to a night time activity. Many folks do not realize that objects such as the Moon can be spotted even in broad daylight. This week, I give you a fun daytime naked eye challenge; spotting Venus in the daytime.  No special equipment is required; just a sharp set of eyes and persistence. [Read more...]