Why do we care?
Flagstaff Dark Skies Coalition brochure
Flagstaff is the home of Lowell, U.S. Naval and other astronomical observatories.
Nothern Arizona's dark skies are their greatest natural resource and an
inspiration to all of us. Coconino County and the City of Flagstaff have sought
to protect our dark skies of comprehensive outdoor lighting ordinances. But we
are all losing the battle to a "thousand points of light pollution"- porch
lights left on all night, excessive security lighting, and unshielded lights.
Excessive night lighting has been shown to have a negative impact on the health
of plants and animals, including humans. With your help we can reverse this
trend, and bring back to all of as the helth, beauty and magic of a deeply
Protected starry heaven over Flagstaff (USA).
Results and conclusions.
The conclusion of the present investigation is depressing. Parasitic lighting
and interference for observations with the biggest Russian 6-m telescope
BTA increase each year. In winter, when the snow cover sets on and the leaves
on trees are absent, the intensity of light pollution increases by 5 - 25
times in the mercury lines, and up to 45 times in the sodium lines.
And the astronomers themselves are guilty of it.
The general part of light pollution arises from city lights installed
in the Nizhnyj Arkhyz, where the office, the service buildings and the
appartment houses for astronomers and technicians are located.
Observatory leadership lost the control under utilization of city lights.
As a result, the unprotected powerful lamps are settled in the astronomers'
village located only 3.5 km away from BTA, the lighting fixtures even equipped
by the shades are operated so that their light spreads free in the directions
upward and to telescope, the powerful lamps even under the shelters use to
install so that their light scatters free on large areas and goes upwards
due to reflection by snow cover. As in the big cities, the light design
of buildings is used. Orange sodium lamps are utilized in the observatory
Such a use of light is inadmissible being prevented to carry qualitative
astronomical observations with the big Russian telescope. It becomes
evident that such close location of village to observational sight of BTA
was chosen by mistake.
In the astronomers' village, even the lighting standards accepted by the
International Dark Sky Association (IDSA) for privates and organizations
far from astronomy are not keeped. In USA, the situation developed that
the light energy is radiating in space with the cost of 9 billion dollars in
a year due to badly adjusted city illumination. These money dissipate for
nothing, with the violation to ecology and science, they exceed
by few times all the spending given to the astronomical investigations.
With high charges of energetic resources, many people understand that
one can spare on such nonreasonable losses. Moreover, the education level of
people becomes such that the plain citizens like to join science, have their
own telescopes to point them on the sky. They organize often the
astronomical observations very useful for science. So, the sky clear of
the light pollution became the same cultural value as the beauty of the
surrounding natural landscape. Moreover, scientists have got the meaning
that the peoples' interest to science is the important factor of all-round
support of astronomical and space researchers including financial one.
In USA, the unions and associations of citizens are founding and working to
protect the heavens of city lights even for small national observatories.
Indifferent treatment of the Russian Academy of Sciences, leadership and
staff of the Special Astrophysical Observatory to our general resource of the
biggest Russian national observatory is absolutely inadmissible. No reasons
about aspiration for the inprovement of life quality and comfort of astronomers
in the Nizhnyj Arkhys village can justify this careless treatment. Russians
call such a treatment 'to hack a branch you sitting on'. If the scientists
themselves do so indifferently behave toward their science, what to say
about plain citizens who maintains this science paying the taxes.
The economic wide-purpose gas-discharge lamps are coming for sale
in Zelenchukskaya just now, they provide sixfold power of radiation, moreover,
they have the same size and may be installed in the same plafonds as
usual incandescent lamps. In the private sector, these lamps will
gradually change the incandescent ones. And no 'comprehensive ordinances
of local authorities' can stop parasitic lighting if everyone who goes
by car along the Arkhyz road sees how the astronomers themselves set their
Taking into account that the Sochi-2014 Olympiad design works and construction
of olympiad objects, sport complexes and popular tourism and rest bussiness
begin just now in this county, such a treatment of profy-astronomers
of SAO RAS presage bad future for all the Russian astronomy. If the
Special Observatory will not keep standards of lighting in the protected
area generally accepted for the effective scientific work, nobody will
V.V.Vlasyuk and O.I.Spiridonova, Russian Astron. Zhurnal V.70, 773-791, 1993.
D.E.Osterbrock, M.F.Walker, and A.T.Koski, Publ. Astron. Soc. Pacific V.88,
La Palma Night-Sky Brightness
International Dark-Sky Association
Table of measurements
Night sky spectrum of the Special Astrophysical
Observations of relative intensities of HgI and NaI emission lines
Characteristics of interference due to light pollution on the
SAO observational sight.
Light pollution sources-1.
Light pollution sources-2.
Results and conclusions.
Continued. Monitoring the situation.
THE WATER-BOTTLING PLANT IS STARTED-UP IN THE CENTER OF LIGHT-PROTECTED
ZONE OF 6-METER TELESCOPE.