A couple of weeks ago I did some stargazing and then posted a short note on social media about how beautiful the sky was that night. Venus was bright low in the west, and we’d just had a pretty sunset. Some of the brighter stars were starting to pop, and it was a lovely view.
A few minutes after I posted my musings, a colleague sent a fairly sharp little note to me, reminding me that not everyone had such a great view of the sky as me. They wanted me to think of folks living in the cities. That’s where light pollution and buildings block the view of the sky for stargazing.
A view of light-polluted areas across the US and Canada, courtesy NASA. The most brightly lit places give the greatest challenges for stargazers.
Fair enough. I’ve certainly written about that topic before and created a whole series of fulldome shows about stargazing wherever you are. In point of fact, we all have challenges in watching the sky. It’s tougher for city dwellers, but those of us in rural areas face some, too. Sure, we do have some light pollution from nearby cities, and, in some ...