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Plummeting insect numbers threaten collapse of nature
03-11-2019, 10:30 AM (This post was last modified: 03-11-2019 10:32 AM by Dan.)
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RE: Plummeting insect numbers threaten collapse of nature
(03-08-2019 12:49 PM)Maximilian Hohmann Wrote:  During the last years, even in many cloudless and seemingly dark nights only a handful of bright stars remain visible to the unaided eye, which makes it very difficult to find dim objects with the telescope.

I am reminded of an article in the December 1986 issue of "Astronomy" magazine about the 100-inch telescope of the Mount Wilson Observatory, which was used by Hubble to make many important discoveries and remained the largest telescope in the world for 3 decades. During World War 2, “because Los Angeles was under blackout in fear of Japanese air raids, the skies over Mount Wilson were free of light pollution that even then hampered the big telescope’s effectiveness.” The telescope “could not halt the expansion of the city that lay below the summit. The city of Los Angeles has grown nearly tenfold since 1917. During that expansion the city installed countless brilliant lights. Furthermore, automobile exhaust has filled the valley and contributes to that city’s infamous brown photochemical smog.” The telescope is now the world's largest telescope dedicated to public use.

I also remember reading in the 80’s about initiatives to curb light pollution, such as raising public awareness of the problem and using shields around streetlights to direct light downwards instead of into the sky, but it only seems to be getting worse, as you have pointed out.

Last night I went out a few hours before sunrise with my 11x80 binoculars and was confined to a small patch of my backyard to escape the street lights and lights from neighbouring houses. I live 40km from Melbourne and the Milky Way is still very impressive, and I can find brighter celestial objects such as the galaxy Centaurus A pretty easily, but not fainter ones, even with my 8-inch telescope. Australia’s population is relatively small (about 25 million) and concentrated around the coastal cities, but I still have to drive 2 or 3 hours to enjoy dark skies.

Are there no longer any dark sky sites in central Europe?
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RE: Plummeting insect numbers threaten collapse of nature - Dan - 03-11-2019 10:30 AM



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