In July, artists, astronomers and probably ordinary residents in Ottawa, Canada will be coming together to celebrate the night sky. On Julian Avenue, which is a block long, all lights will be turned off. Artists have contributed paintings, photos and sculptures of space and astronomers are contributing telescopes and information.
It all begins with a star party on July 2nd sponsored by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. They will bring telescopes and let people use them to see the beauty of the night sky up close.
Then, the lights on Julian Avenue will go off for the entire month of July. Hopefully light pollution from adjacent streets will not mar the experience of being able to see the night sky.
Cities are brightly lit mostly because of a concern for safety, but in reality bright lights make it more difficult to see. Once our eyes adapt to the night, our vision is better and our senses more acute.
This event as a creative response to the perils of light pollution, hopes to educate and enlighten (no pun intended, maybe I should say endarken??). Events like these are important. In the everyday, or every night world of our cities and our homes, however, we need to make changes in the kind of lights, i.e., incandescent vs. LED along with the lighting fixtures we choose for the lights we keep on to light our guests way to our door and to enjoy an nighttime party.
As homeowners, we have so many choices now for good looking fixtures that are termed dark sky lighting. These lights are built to shield the light downwards, focusing it on what actually needs to be lighted rather than scattering it everywhere creating ugliness, glare and less ability to actually be able to see!