Dark Skies

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What is a Dark Sky?

Dark skies are located in a place where the darkness of the night sky is relatively free of interference from artificial light.

 

What is Light Pollution?

Light pollution is the product resulting from man-made light sources ( mostly caused by outdoor light fixtures that aren't properly shielded  ). Light pollution disrupts many natural habitats surrounding communities and can be also harmful to humans as well as animals.

To learn more about light pollution's impact on animals, click here.

Due to poorly made light fixtures , the night sky suffers from various effects of light pollution. Theses harmful effects include:

  1. Light Trespass 
  2. Glare
  3. Sky Glow

 

What is Sky Glow?

Sky Glow is basically the brightening of the night sky . This form of brightening causes our stars to be less visible from areas that are affected by light pollution and sky glow. Not only does man - made light sources contribute to sky glow , but weather and atmosphere does as well. Overall , Sky Glow harms the people living under it. Astronomers attempting to use technology and observe the night sky cannot do so properly due to false readings . It also affects people who simply wish to look up and see the stars.

Sky glow pic

 

What is Light Trespass?

Light trespass is the result of light that emanates from fixtures that are not shielded correctly. By having this “ unintended light “ emanate from these fixtures , “ Light Trespass “ is formed. An example of this is when a street light, which is designed to only illuminate the street , spills and enters a room of a household. Light Trespass could create discomfort amongst individuals at night.

light-trespass cropped

 

What is Glare?

Glare is the product of unprotected light sources. Glare is the shine of strong and dazzling light. This effect of light pollution is more harmful to humans because of the possibilities of Disability Glare and Discomfort Glare. Disability glare is the loss of visibility due to stray light and is mostly felt by the elderly due to age and sensitivity. Discomfort glare is when someone feels discomfort , pain , or irritability due to light sources.

Glare

 

Why Should You Even Care?
Although light pollution may not affect you specifically , it does affect the community in ways that can not only be felt through our generation,  but for future generations as well. The idea of looking up and seeing the stars and planets could become gone forever. Light pollution also poses health hazards and causes various problems in the lives of citizens every day. Some view light pollution as not important and some view it as a major catastrophe . Regardless of what you think , light pollution is real  and it robs citizens of the joy and happiness of the night sky.

 

To learn more visit the International Dark-Sky Association website, click here.

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