Star viewing sites throughout the US are being abandoned. Because of the growing problem of light pollution, or "urban sky glow" as some call it, night skies are becoming increasingly obscured by excessive amounts of illumination emanating from our cities.
Amateur and professional star gazers alike are having a hard time seeing the night-time stars because of this city light pollution, much of it a result of light fixtures that are not dark sky compliant. To meet Dark Sky standards, light fixtures must shine light down toward the ground rather than indiscriminately upwards toward the night sky. Many cities are passing dark sky ordinances in an effort to limit the effects of these lights on urban skies.
Those who appreciate a good view are thankful for this new-found attention to light pollution, since the problem is only getting worse at this point. For instance, those in the Southwest Florida Astronomical Society, based in South Fort Myers, have had to abandon some of their viewing sites as recently as two years ago because they could no longer see the sites in the heavens.
This move has sent the 75-member group scouring the area for new viewing sites and coming up short. Although they have discovered some replacements, unless existing and new light fixtures are fitted with dark sky compliant options, these sites, too, will become unusable.
The situation is the same even for scientific viewing sites where high-powered telescopes are used. Clearly, if we continue at this pace we’ll soon be unable to study the stars, or even see them for that matter!
Discover a selection of unique and stylish choices of dark sky compliant lighting here for your own outdoor lighting needs.