Turn out the lights in Times Square in April? Jason Kendall, amateur astronomer and Katja Aglert, installation artist from Sweden want to do just that.
Their hope is to create a moment of silence, literally 1 minute of lights out, so that New Yorkers can see the night sky for possibly the first time in their lives. I wonder if people’s eyes can adjust from all that glare to be able to see anything in 1 minute. For their sake, I sure hope so!
Ms. Aglert is working on persuading the city to turn off the lights in Times Square for 1 minute. “Turning off the lights for one minute is like a moment of silence, only this is a turned-off minute,” Ms. Aglert said. “Hopefully, people will reflect on the fact that we don’t see stars any more.”
The staging of such a feat is, to say the least, challenging. Ms. Aglert will need to convince all landlords in the blocks between 41st and 51st Street and Broadway and Seventh Avenue to turn off their lights and all lights must be turned off at the same exact time.
Mr. Kendall has taken on the task to persuade the city’s parks department to turn off the lights in Inwood’s Dyckman Fields. “How can you appreciate something you’ve never seen?” said Mr. Kendall. “You’ll never get anyone to make the sky dark until you show them how beautiful it can be.”
Jason Kendall hangs out with his powerful telescope outside Inwood Hill Park where he draws crowds eager to peer through the lens to view stars and planets they cannot see otherwise.
In 2001, the Royal Astronomical Society reported that “About two thirds of the population of the world and 99% of people in the continental USA and western Europe never see a truly dark starry sky from where they live because of light pollution. Most of them cannot see the Milky Way and for many, the sky never gets darker than it would during natural twilight because so much artificial light brightens the atmosphere.”
New York City is working on legislation to reduce nighttime glare, as reported here LED Street Lights: Lighting Up a Block Near You They plan to begin this within the coming year with the goal to eventually replace all 300,000 city lights with energy saving and glare-free LED streetlights.
Check out the whole article here: A Shared Vision to Dazzle Urbanites With the Night Sky