15 August 2013
The forgotten pollution: light
I suppose young people nowadays must get tired of hearing their elders proclaim how certain things were better in "the old days." But I'm going to do just that, regarding the sky at night, because The Atlantic has an excellent, extended post on the subject of light pollution, as part of a review of a new book.
I grew up in the Midwest in the 1950s. In those years, when you looked up there were stars by the thousands.
Now the typical American experience is so distorted that when a power outage blackens a city, some residents phone police and emergency services with questions about unusual sightings in the sky (celestial objects). This composite depicts the effects of light pollution on the observable night sky:
More at The Atlantic (whence the images).
p.s. - recommended reading: Asimov's Nightfall.