Life of Brian..

Discuss the greatest threat to amateur astronomy today

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brian livesey
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Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:05 am
Location: Lancashire
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Life of Brian..

Post by brian livesey »

In the late 1970s,when we moved to the present edge-of-town of town location,next to a playing field with moorland beyond,light pollution in the Southerly direction was pretty negligible. On good nights,the Milky Way flowed distinctly overhead and stately Orion hung sparkling,as ever, on the Celestial Equator.
This relatively blissful state was further enhanced one dark,Winter's, evening when a certain road lamp received the black paint treatment to its glass cover, followed a few evenings later by a white overcoat to match the glass. Who said there's no such thing as fairies?
All good things come to an end;so do the bad things,it just takes longer. The road lamps have since been changed,undoing the fairies work,by taller more "aggressive" lamps.
One evening in the mid-1980s,an unexpected auroral glow rose from the south-easterly direction,signalling completion of the new bypass,two-miles away. The irritating cause of this orange intrusion into the night-sky could only be ploughed up and grassed over in dream;the job was too big for the fairies.
Then,in the 1990s,came the photon blitz,frightening the fairies away. Many nearby homes were taken over by a housing association,that fitted each newly-acquired property with not one,not two,but three,(in)security lights;bright enough,you'd think,to scorch the fur on passing cats. No wonder,the local Tawnies were confused.
Since then,rising energy prices have prompted a gradual switching off of some (in)security lights,but it isn't what it used to be: the whole town has grown nocturnally brighter over the years. Finally,as for growing up in a small mill town in the 1940s/50s,the night sky was dazzling by to-day's standards. In 1950, or thereabouts, I recall seeing the ethereal red draperies of the Northern Lights over the town. Or was it just a dream? :wink:
brian
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