Because of the efforts of the National Park Service to preserve the natural resources of our land, individuals are still able to visit a National Park and gaze at the stars. This affords everyone the
opportunity for viewing some semblance of what America’s early population may have seen. The National Parks Traveler has announced that Dr. Tyler Nordgren, an astronomer and associate professor of physics at the University of Redlands in California; will provide a glimpse of what our world stands to lose if light pollution continues unabated. The National Parks Traveler has provided information about a
forthcoming poster series and book by Dr. Nordgren. The works are due out in February and are based on a yearlong sabbatical exploring a link between astronomy and national parks.
As referenced by the National Parks Traveler, there is a heightened interest in astronomy and stargazing tours. The article serves as a reminder to the reader that the stars can be a continued source of celebration and inspiration as long as we become proactive in the defense of our night skies. The upcoming book underscores the natural magnificence that we may lose if poorly planned lighting is allowed to continue to overtake our night skies, transforming them into merely legend rather than an experience to be enjoyed.
The fact is, even the most remote parks have been altered due to light pollution. We cannot allow these natural, starlit skies to recede in favor of something man made. It’s not solely an environmental issue. Light pollution is as disruptive to humans as it is to other living species as it disturbs the natural order of the world. The efforts of the National Parks Service and the International Dark-Sky Association to preserve the natural night skies will continue to bring awareness to the issue of light pollution. With everyone’s assistance, we can preserve a clear view of the Milky Way from places like the middle of Acadia.