Light pollution is a two-way murky street. Not only have millions of people never seen the glow of our Milky Way in the night sky because of light pollution, but also when astronauts in the International Space Station look down at Earth, they see lights almost everywhere and a faint green or yellow air-glow — caused mostly by light pollution — hovers over the planet in a majority of the images they send back from space.
“Light pollution threatens the health of every living thing on Earth,” says a new planetarium-like video from the International Dark-Sky Association in collaboration with Loch Ness Productions, a U.S.-based full-dome planetarium show production company.
“Losing the Dark” illustrates problems caused by light pollution, with particular emphasis on how it affects night-sky visibility. But the video also offers simple solutions for mitigating light pollution, and reminds everyone it is not too late to save the starry sky.
Bob Parks, IDA Executive Director said, “Everyone who views ‘Losing the Dark’ can see how easy it is to make wise choices about outdoor lighting, and that together we can work to restore the night sky to its former glory.”
The video is narrated by astronomer Carolyn Collins Petersen, (whose voice you may recognize from past 365 Days of Astronomy podcasts), and the show is also available in full-dome versions for planetariums and science centers as a public service announcement.
“Planetariums champion the night sky already,” Collins Petersen said. “They tap into public awareness, so their audiences are a prime demographic for this message. The show gives planetarium professionals another tool to help educate the public about this critical issue. The HD version extends the message to more people through presentations by educators and dark-sky advocates.”
For more information about the video, see the International Dark Skies Association website.
Nancy Atkinson is currently Universe Today’s Contributing Editor. Previously she served as UT’s Senior Editor and lead writer, and has worked with Astronomy Cast and 365 Days of Astronomy. Nancy is the author of the new book “Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos.” She is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.