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Today's XKCD is about light pollution

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#1 AaronF


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Posted 02 March 2020 - 02:22 PM


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#2 Jim Davis

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Posted 02 March 2020 - 02:30 PM

"If we can destroy enough of the lights in our region, we may see more comets, but that's a risk we'll have to take."

#3 kkt



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Posted 02 March 2020 - 02:37 PM


Don't forget to mouse over the strip for a second punch line.


Maybe Stargazing 4 will be about excess low-altitude satellites.

#4 UT_JimW



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Posted 02 March 2020 - 02:47 PM

LED lights and light pollution have certainly been frustrating me of late.  A truckstop on the edge of town recently replaced their regular lot lighting to LEDs.  Rather than aiming down, many are only shallow oblique angles, and light up a natural hillside hundreds of feet away.  Neighbors who used to have a mediocre side light on their garage -again aimed more sideways than down - think nothing of slapping in a high intensity led light and bathing neighbors homes in artificial sunlight dawn to dusk.  School LED billboards are almost blinding (that blue!) alongside the road (safety issue, and certainly there has to be a power level setting somewhere).  It was a change that had to be made for climate and energy reasons, but has given the unthinking and uncaring yet another way to be even more obnoxious.


I live in a semi-rural low crime area in the Intermountain West of the USA.  Why are people here so afraid of the dark?


In my 20s in the 1980s I spent 5 summers as a fire fighter.  We often would travel in late summer to central Idaho to fight fires.  No cell phone map apps, usually only 1 poor quality zerox map for the crew boss.   We often worked night shift in the new-to-us mountainous terrain.  I used the stars to navigate my squad over the hillsides and through breaks in the timber so we could cover our area and return to the drop point in the morning. 


In the 90s I worked as a biologist in rural Nevada, often driving in from the field or between towns at night.  This was when I first started watching planet motions against the stars and even saw comets and aurora while driving down lonely highways.


I am immensely grateful I have those dark sky memories.



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#5 RyanSem


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Posted 02 March 2020 - 10:09 PM

Love a good xkcd, especially one about astronomy!

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