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Light reflected off fresh snow can outshine the moon

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#1 DHEB

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 03:14 AM

Check this interesting short summary article, newly appeared on Science magazine:

 

Light reflected off fresh snow can outshine the moon

 

It is based on this original article in Journal of Imaging (freely accessible):

 

Snowglow—The Amplification of Skyglow by Snow and Clouds Can Exceed Full Moon Illuminance in Suburban Areas

 

The conclusion we already knew: snow makes light pollution worse.

 

 


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#2 TOMDEY

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 05:47 AM

Yeah, that would be true in urban areas, some suburban areas, but generally not rural areas. One might not notice the difference as dramatic, because that component is just adding to the already overpowering pollution. I have designed street lights (low pressure sodium!) for European customers... so am pretty well into the technicalities. One thing we astronomers sometimes forget is that even well-directed outdoor lighting (ideally cut-off trespass and all directed to the task streets, lots and sidewalks) still bounces off those surfaces and up into the sky. This is (of course) also true of moon light and other natural sky light. So, the ideal ground would be ... flat black. Snow is the opposite of that.


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