Around 20% of the world’s population and more than 66% in the U.S. cannot see the Milky Way from their homes? It’s incredibly sad that so many people cannot see the awesome free light show that nature turns on for us due to light pollution.
A small town in New Zealand has tackled the issue of light pollution head on by utilizing low-energy sodium lamps that are shielded from above and ensuring that household lights face down.
According to this article, the town of Tekapo on New Zealand’s South Island could become a UNESCO approved “starlight reserve” – the first of its kind.
Aside from saving energy, the town of 830 is also becoming somewhat of a travel destination for “astrotourists”; those seeking a peek at a clear night sky and the myriad of stars and planets beyond. Now there’s a great hook for anyone who owns a farm looking to make a little extra cash! Farm stays with an astronomical twist!
At my little patch of Australia, I’m blessed not to have any towns close by and night-times can be an incredible experience; particularly when there’s some meteor activity. It’s just coming off a full moon at the moment and the moon in conjunction with the stars are so bright, a book can be read. A torch certainly isn’t needed for finding my way around outside.
Even given its relative remoteness, I can still see faint light on the horizon from Adelaide, well over 100 miles away. All that wasted light, all that wasted energy, not to mention the other hazards that light pollution causes.