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General Astronomy >> Light Pollution

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MawkHawk
sage
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Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: SE Michigan, USA
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: barasits]
      #5405567 - 09/05/12 08:28 PM

Please leave some comments at this site, either via Facebook or directly on the blog at the bottom:

Another site for comments


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TOM O
sage
*****

Reged: 03/30/06

Loc: Joshua Tree CA.
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: MawkHawk]
      #5405603 - 09/05/12 09:13 PM

Thanks, MarkHawk, I left a comment.
Additionally, I did some research and found the following. The disturbing thing is that this was written, mostly, in 2006 and predicts dire straits for our planet. Sir David Attenborough has insight and experience. He warns strongly!

http://www.lightpollution.org.uk/index.php?pageId=6


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darkchairman
newbie


Reged: 08/31/12

Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: barasits]
      #5405757 - 09/05/12 11:13 PM

The searchlights will be visible much farther than ten miles away. See the attached documents.
On December 15, 1939, when the movie "Gone With the Wind" premiered in Atlanta, The Atlanta Constitution reported that the searchlights were visible for 65 miles. A 65-mile radius from Philadelphia reaches to Staten Island, New York; Dover, Delaware; Ocean City, New Jersey; Lancaster, Pennsylvania; and Aberdeen, Maryland.
In September 1986, when a car dealership advertised in The Atlanta Journal that it was sweeping the sky with two huge searchlights, they were visible far beyond 25 miles away. The dealership was 25 miles from Villa Rica. The searchlights were about 8 feet in diameter and mounted on trailers. Part of my article in the Atlanta Astronomy Club newsletter is attached and describes the outcome.
Tom Buchanan

(Image from another source removed)

Edited by csa/montana (09/07/12 12:06 PM)


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Fred1
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 09/19/07

Loc: Somewhere in the Orion Spur
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: MawkHawk]
      #5405768 - 09/05/12 11:24 PM

Quote:

Please leave some comments at this site, either via Facebook or directly on the blog at the bottom:

Another site for comments




Thanks for posting that link. My comments were immediately posted after I hit "submit."


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barasits
sage


Reged: 06/12/11

Loc: Chicago
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: darkchairman]
      #5405890 - 09/06/12 12:45 AM

Tom, thanks for posting and welcome to Cloudy Nights!

I'm sure you're right that 10 miles is an underestimate of the distance from which Open Air will be visible. I got the 10 mile figure from Lozano-Hemmer's web site, not an objective source.

Geoff


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barasits
sage


Reged: 06/12/11

Loc: Chicago
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: MawkHawk]
      #5405930 - 09/06/12 01:29 AM

Thanks for posting the link, Mawkhawk. I just posted a comment to the uwishunu blog. Most of the facebook comments were very disappointing.

Geoff


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MawkHawk
sage
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Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: SE Michigan, USA
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: barasits]
      #5406123 - 09/06/12 07:51 AM

Geez, I don't see any comments after my Ben Franklin comment last night. They must have turned off new comments just like the other sites did. Very nice. I guess when they say to please leave a comment they must mean please only leave positive comments....

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MawkHawk
sage
*****

Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: SE Michigan, USA
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: MawkHawk]
      #5406178 - 09/06/12 08:44 AM

Hey, here is an article about opposition to this project, posted just this morning. Near the bottom are comments from Astronomy Magazine and others. You can also leave comments.

http://www.metro.us/philadelphia/comment/article/1151319--blinded-by-the-art-open-air-light-installation-raises-environmental-air-traffic-safety-concerns


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Fred1
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 09/19/07

Loc: Somewhere in the Orion Spur
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: MawkHawk]
      #5406231 - 09/06/12 09:41 AM

MawkHawk, that link is a very good commentary from a media source. The testing during the September dark window... well, that's another issue.

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TOM O
sage
*****

Reged: 03/30/06

Loc: Joshua Tree CA.
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Fred1]
      #5407140 - 09/06/12 07:39 PM

here's a recap of links on this subject. Additional links to related groups of interest have been included. Some links are specific to this thread and lead to groups involved in the project one way or another.

1. http://www.darksky.org/
2. http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/5392137/Main/4939033#Post5392137
3. http://www.knightarts.org/community/philadelphia/preparing-for-open-air-in-philadelphia#comment-8404
4. http://associationforpublicart.org/open-air/
5. https://www.facebook.com/assocforPublicArt?ref=search&sid=677131930.2896771940..1&v=wall
6. https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10152034971675401&id=142158105400
7. https://www.facebook.com/lvaas.astro
8. https://www.facebook.com/TheFranklinInstitute?ref=search&sid=671735097.2243181252..1
9. https://www.facebook.com/RittenhouseAstronomy
10. http://www.wyncoteaudubon.org/
11. http://www.rittenhouseastronomicalsociety.org/
12. http://www2.fi.edu/exhibits/permanent/bloomobservatory.php
13. http://www.uwishunu.com/2012/08/save-the-date-the-world-premiere-of-open-air-the-giant-interactive-3-d-light-installation-coming-to-the-skies-above-the-benjamin-franklin-parkway-is-set-for-thursday-september-20-at-730-p/comment-page-1/#comment-54839
14. http://www.tchd.org/benfranklin.htm
15. http://www.farmersalmanac.com/astronomy/2008/03/03/ben-franklins-letter-to-the-editor-re-saving-daylight/
16. http://articles.philly.com/2012-05-23/news/31813319_1_daniel-klem-birds-audubon-pennsylvania
17. http://nycaudubon.org/project-safe-flight
18. http://nycaudubon.org/about-us
19. http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2000/ast15nov_1/


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ForgottenMObject
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 09/11/04

Loc: Maryland, US
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5419562 - 09/13/12 05:07 PM

We used to have "unique, dynamic light formations" in the sky. They were called stars, and they blazed away in constellations.

Sadly, they've been replaced now with endless light pollution, but the notion of adding more light pollution as art is just silly. And, as others have said, if they cared at all about the environment and the impacts of this wasteful nonsense, they wouldn't be doing it in the first place, vs. "mitigating" it while continuing full-speed ahead.

Who even uses searchlights anymore to get people's attention? When was the last time somebody actually drove someplace new just because they saw a searchlight in that general direction and felt a need to track down its source? Has anyone done this in the past 30+ years??

Edited by ForgottenMObject (09/13/12 05:10 PM)


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5419673 - 09/13/12 06:07 PM

Tom, again thanks for going the extra mile, & taking the time to post the links here!

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TOM O
sage
*****

Reged: 03/30/06

Loc: Joshua Tree CA.
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5420274 - 09/14/12 12:12 AM

Thanks Carol.

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amicus sidera
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Reged: 10/14/11

Loc: East of the Sun, West of the M...
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: TOM O]
      #5420698 - 09/14/12 10:19 AM

A neighbor who refuses to shield a glaring porch light when asked politely to do so, or a celebrated "artiste" who acts in a similar manner, but on a larger scale... one may have a larger entourage than the other, but both are cut from the same bolt of cloth.

My disdain for humanity grows deeper every day.


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5420723 - 09/14/12 10:46 AM

Quote:

My disdain for humanity grows deeper every day.




What a few do, should not reflect on all.


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amicus sidera
Post Laureate
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Reged: 10/14/11

Loc: East of the Sun, West of the M...
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5421209 - 09/14/12 04:14 PM

Quote:

Quote:

My disdain for humanity grows deeper every day.




What a few do, should not reflect on all.




It should not reflect thus, but in this case, it is merited - at least on most. Consider that the vast majority of people seem to gladly tolerate or actively encourage excessive lighting of all kinds, regardless of environmental impact. In my experience, it is not a matter of educating them, since they are not really capable of being educated; as they operate primarily from the position of naked self-interest, anything that obstructs them from getting their way is attacked, either overtly or by way of rationalization.

This is why this "art" display is, barring government intervention, going to proceed as scheduled... it is because the vast majority see absolutely nothing wrong with it.

It is also why the light pollution issue, at least at the macro level, is not amenable to a sociological solution... only stern authoritarianism or a general collapse of civilization will remove or reduce it from populated areas.


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Kfrank
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/20/08

Loc: Northern Colorado
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5421750 - 09/14/12 11:27 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

My disdain for humanity grows deeper every day.




What a few do, should not reflect on all.




It should not reflect thus, but in this case, it is merited - at least on most. Consider that the vast majority of people seem to gladly tolerate or actively encourage excessive lighting of all kinds, regardless of environmental impact. In my experience, it is not a matter of educating them, since they are not really capable of being educated; as they operate primarily from the position of naked self-interest, anything that obstructs them from getting their way is attacked, either overtly or by way of rationalization.

This is why this "art" display is, barring government intervention, going to proceed as scheduled... it is because the vast majority see absolutely nothing wrong with it.

It is also why the light pollution issue, at least at the macro level, is not amenable to a sociological solution... only stern authoritarianism or a general collapse of civilization will remove or reduce it from populated areas.




Now that you've indicted the vast majority of society...

Your profile here on CN lists your hobbies as "Personal edification and enlightenment" and yet you seem to be willing to condemn out of hand those with whom you disagree and indeed, seem willing to use iron-handed measures to accomplish your wishes. All this despite the fact that, arguably, your views (and my views) are in the minority.

I'm not defending this project. Nor am I condoning the excessive use of light for the varieties of purposes for which it is used. I would like nothing more than to go back to the days when we could walk out of our houses, look up and behold the full magnificence of the night skies. Perhaps someday, man will come full circle and that will come to pass. But, alas, that day is not today.

It needs to be pointed out - and understood - that light is culturally perceived as good by most of humanity.

To wit: "'Tis better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness".

Throughout history, light has represented goodness while darkness has been perceived as evil. For good or ill, to a certain extent, the urge to light up our world has been culturally ingrained in us. Early man huddled around his campfire. Man celebrated the lighting of his streets with gas lamps, and later with "electric lights". Darkness has always been perceived as something to be pushed back and as soon as man had the tools to do so, he did precisely that.

Science is now beginning to understand that this may not be the wisest course. That excessive light may cause problems of which we were unaware. But, the fact remains that, for the majority of society, dark is not good - light is good.

Right now, we who wish to turn off the lights are in the minority. It's up to us to work with the rest of society to help them become enlightened (there's that word again). Condemning them - however right we may be - will not solve the problem and in fact will likely be counterproductive in our quest. Almost certainly, referring to people as being incapable of being educated, is going to delay, rather than further our goals.

We have a challenge here. One that will require outreach, understanding, patience, and above all persistance, to accomplish our goals. Condemnation and brute force will not serve us well.


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BigC
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 09/29/10

Loc: SE Indiana
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Kfrank]
      #5421824 - 09/15/12 01:19 AM

Kfrank,

Excellent post.

I suggest the fear of the dark is actually rational in that darkness has been that which hid many dangers,from the loose pebble that will sprain an ankle to the two-or-four predators to the insect or snake to the unseen cliff.

Several years ago in Cincinnati a police oficer jumped to his death when he leapt over a bridge railing in the dark while chasing a suspect ,apparently thinking there was a walkway on the other side.It was foolish to jump where one cannot see but it was also another reason for most people to think MORE lights are needed,not fewer.

Astronomy is the only non-criminal activity that comes to mind which actually requires darkness outside at night.


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Kfrank]
      #5422064 - 09/15/12 09:35 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

My disdain for humanity grows deeper every day.




What a few do, should not reflect on all.




It should not reflect thus, but in this case, it is merited - at least on most. Consider that the vast majority of people seem to gladly tolerate or actively encourage excessive lighting of all kinds, regardless of environmental impact. In my experience, it is not a matter of educating them, since they are not really capable of being educated; as they operate primarily from the position of naked self-interest, anything that obstructs them from getting their way is attacked, either overtly or by way of rationalization.

This is why this "art" display is, barring government intervention, going to proceed as scheduled... it is because the vast majority see absolutely nothing wrong with it.

It is also why the light pollution issue, at least at the macro level, is not amenable to a sociological solution... only stern authoritarianism or a general collapse of civilization will remove or reduce it from populated areas.




Now that you've indicted the vast majority of society...

Your profile here on CN lists your hobbies as "Personal edification and enlightenment" and yet you seem to be willing to condemn out of hand those with whom you disagree and indeed, seem willing to use iron-handed measures to accomplish your wishes. All this despite the fact that, arguably, your views (and my views) are in the minority.

I'm not defending this project. Nor am I condoning the excessive use of light for the varieties of purposes for which it is used. I would like nothing more than to go back to the days when we could walk out of our houses, look up and behold the full magnificence of the night skies. Perhaps someday, man will come full circle and that will come to pass. But, alas, that day is not today.

It needs to be pointed out - and understood - that light is culturally perceived as good by most of humanity.

To wit: "'Tis better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness".

Throughout history, light has represented goodness while darkness has been perceived as evil. For good or ill, to a certain extent, the urge to light up our world has been culturally ingrained in us. Early man huddled around his campfire. Man celebrated the lighting of his streets with gas lamps, and later with "electric lights". Darkness has always been perceived as something to be pushed back and as soon as man had the tools to do so, he did precisely that.

Science is now beginning to understand that this may not be the wisest course. That excessive light may cause problems of which we were unaware. But, the fact remains that, for the majority of society, dark is not good - light is good.

Right now, we who wish to turn off the lights are in the minority. It's up to us to work with the rest of society to help them become enlightened (there's that word again). Condemning them - however right we may be - will not solve the problem and in fact will likely be counterproductive in our quest. Almost certainly, referring to people as being incapable of being educated, is going to delay, rather than further our goals.

We have a challenge here. One that will require outreach, understanding, patience, and above all persistance, to accomplish our goals. Condemnation and brute force will not serve us well.





Ken, a very excellent post.


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amicus sidera
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Reged: 10/14/11

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Re: Open Air art project in Philadelphia new [Re: Kfrank]
      #5422066 - 09/15/12 09:37 AM

Quote:


Now that you've indicted the vast majority of society...





Their actions indict them; I merely pointed out them out.


Quote:

Your profile here on CN lists your hobbies as "Personal edification and enlightenment" and yet you seem to be willing to condemn out of hand those with whom you disagree and indeed, seem willing to use iron-handed measures to accomplish your wishes. All this despite the fact that, arguably, your views (and my views) are in the minority.





You appear to be condemning me out of hand, by conflating an observation, e.g., my opinion regarding the means necessary to achieve a major reduction in light pollution in populated areas, with a desire to see such eventualities come to pass. Come now, do you really believe that I wish for totalitarianism or the collapse of civilization in order to better see the stars?


Quote:

I'm not defending this project. Nor am I condoning the excessive use of light for the varieties of purposes for which it is used. I would like nothing more than to go back to the days when we could walk out of our houses, look up and behold the full magnificence of the night skies. Perhaps someday, man will come full circle and that will come to pass. But, alas, that day is not today.





I am opining that "that day" will never exist again, at least in our lifetimes, short of very unpleasant, and as I previously stated, undesirable circumstances.


Quote:

It needs to be pointed out - and understood - that light is culturally perceived as good by most of humanity.

To wit: "'Tis better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness".





Humanity's enjoyment of artificial light is only natural, as we don't see all that well in the dark; however, a single candle isn't what is being discussed here, but literally quadrillions of candle equivalents. To use an analogy: one or two drinks in an evening makes for a social drinker; ten or twelve makes for an alcoholic. I posit that humanity is drunk on too much light (and energy use in general), and is destroying itself by means of this addiction. That is the reason for my statement concerning the only likely end to light pollution... most addicts can overcome their addiction with willpower combined with a great deal of outside intervention, but when the will is lacking, inasmuch as there is no will to reduce the overuse of lighting, and sufficient outside forces are not present to make for a "soft landing", the situation grinds its way to a relatively inevitable conclusion.


Quote:

Throughout history, light has represented goodness while darkness has been perceived as evil. For good or ill, to a certain extent, the urge to light up our world has been culturally ingrained in us. Early man huddled around his campfire. Man celebrated the lighting of his streets with gas lamps, and later with "electric lights". Darkness has always been perceived as something to be pushed back and as soon as man had the tools to do so, he did precisely that.

Science is now beginning to understand that this may not be the wisest course. That excessive light may cause problems of which we were unaware. But, the fact remains that, for the majority of society, dark is not good - light is good.




This last sentence is at the very crux of the dilemma... the inherent belief that darkness is somehow intrinsically bad or evil... it is just these kind of ingrained misconceptions that humanity must rise above if we are to have any hope for the future.


Quote:

Right now, we who wish to turn off the lights are in the minority. It's up to us to work with the rest of society to help them become enlightened (there's that word again). Condemning them - however right we may be - will not solve the problem and in fact will likely be counterproductive in our quest. Almost certainly, referring to people as being incapable of being educated, is going to delay, rather than further our goals.




That all sounds very nice, but in my opinion (there's that word again) a majority of the populace is not capable of working against their own self-interest as they perceive it, at least to any degree that would overcome their innate desires for more light, more energy use, more (fill in the blanks).

You see, I believe that we are of two differing beliefs, that really have no nexus... whereas you seem to believe that most people can be brought to an understanding by teaching and persuasion, I believe the very opposite, based on my experience. Since I do not advocate authoritarianism nor systemic collapse (please take note), I feel that there is no real solution to the light pollution dilemma, at least in the vicinity of large population centers; humanity will maintain its present course, the light domes will not diminish, and all will remain as it is until the status quo can no longer be supported.


Quote:

We have a challenge here. One that will require outreach, understanding, patience, and above all persistance, to accomplish our goals. Condemnation and brute force will not serve us well.




Very lofty sounding, but ultimately unworkable, in my opinion... and opinion is what I am presenting here, not advocation. Humanity has failed to restrain itself, which will almost certainly lead to the imposition of restraints designed by natural forces. Any condemnation it receives it has brought upon itself; as for brute force, nature is more than capable of supplying that, and ultimately will.



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