Monday, March 20, 2006

Time, time, time is not on my side

Duriscoe et al./NPS

Extending from the city in all directions, the light from Las Vegas, for example, reaches 8 of 38 parks that Moore has surveyed. About 150 km away from Las Vegas, the city's lights are the dominant cause of light pollution in Death Valley National Park, where Moore's collaborator Dan Duriscoe works. On the other hand, "we can barely detect Las Vegas from Bryce Canyon," about 300 km away, says Moore, who's based in Utah at that national park. Science News Online

I already feel bad when I don't get out stargazing on a clear weekend, for whatever reason. And now I find out that time's a-running out. According to the National Park Service:

Two–thirds of Americans cannot see the Milky Way from their backyard, and 99% of the population live in an area that scientists consider light polluted. The rate at which light pollution is increasing will leave almost no dark skies in the contiguous US by 2025.

So get yer ground-based astronomy in now, while the gettin's good.


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