This evening I’m going avoid saying anything too profound or educational. My evening was spent eating grilled foods, and drinking things I’m sure weren’t healthy as I kicked back with many of the other faculty and their spouses. There is a magical hour here in our middle-class suburban existence when the fireflies begin to flicker in the grass and the stars and planets begin to spring out of the sky. In the cities where I have lived for most of my adult life this magical hour was missing – the stars and the bugs had both been consumed by the cement and illumination of urban existence.
I knew about stars being effected by light pollution, but it was only tonight that I realized lightening bugs also disappear when every light is turned on.
I wonder if anyone has ever done a study to see how people’s opinion of how space exploration and astronomy research should be funded is effected by the levels of light pollution in their area. How does someone who can never see a full constellation above a building filled horizon in a light polluted city learn to love the stars?