Home > Science > Solving the dark sky problem

Solving the dark sky problem

2009/06/11

So 1/5 of the world and 2/3 of the U.S. can’t see the Milky Way at night. Sounds harmless, especially to city folks who don;t know any better, but brighter night skies are harmful to people and animals (think circadian rhythm, serotonin levels, Paris Hilton). For example:

One study of 147 Israeli communities, published in 2008 in the journal Chronobiology International, found some evidence for an increased risk of breast cancer for women living in areas with the most light pollution. This is thought to be due to unnatural light at night affecting levels of hormones such as melatonin and estrogen.

via Cosmos Magazine

So that’s another type of pollution to worry about. But today, I’ll focus on the more aesthetic aspects of the Milky Way. This guy Oisin Byrne took a 2D map of the galaxy and transferred it to a cardboard box. So here’s the Milky Way in cardboard.

The Milky Way in a Box

The Milky Way in a Box

 

And it's big!

And it's big!

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  1. 2009/06/11 at 23:03

    that’s one thing I miss the most about living out in the middle of nowhere in AZ, the skies were INCREDIBLE and you could see the milky way so clearly…. and the other clusters of stars… it made me feel so good to be able to see it… very humbling every day. Out here in sacramento – I don’t get that…. I can hardly pick out the big and little dippers sometimes…. *sigh*

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