Skip to comments.Residents of ME town want to keep stars in their eyes- Approve ordinance to redirect manmade light
Posted on 12/04/2008 12:03:42 PM PST by BGHater
BAR HARBOR, Maine - On a clear night, the Milky Way cuts across the sky and down to the horizon like a celestial lightning bolt, a giant, luminescent spear shrouded in a graceful veil of back-lighted stardust.
The sight has always been up there. But today, few Americans can see it, especially not in brightly lighted cities like Boston. On the densely populated East Coast, Mount Desert Island is one of the last inhabited places where the naked eye can still clearly observe the heavenly wonders that have inspired religion, mythology, science, and culture.
To preserve that natural spectacle - and protect one of the tourist attractions of the island's Acadia National Park - voters in Bar Harbor this month approved a "dark sky" ordinance aimed at limiting the manmade lighting that has blotted out the view of the stars over much of the country. Bright lights installed after Dec. 4 will have to be shielded from the sky to illuminate only the area beneath them.
"The idea is you put the light where you need it," said Peter Lord, who directs Island Astronomy Institute, a nonprofit organization on Mount Desert Island that studies the effect of manmade light on the night sky.
"There are many in Boston who have never seen the full specter of the Milky Way. In the United States, what you have is a generation of children who have never seen it."
Preserving the sight the ancients took for granted goes beyond saving a pretty view. The promise of a rare, unimpeded stargazing experience has the potential to draw more visitors to Maine, which depends heavily on tourism.
(Excerpt) Read more at boston.com ...
Residents of Maine town want to keep stars in their eyes Approve ordinance to redirect manmade light
Rush has to limit his lights in Florida because of the Turtles.
I can get behind these a LOT faster than global warming or other enviro-whacko initiatives. As a backyard astronomer I fully support methods of redirecting man made light to the ground instead of into the air. Reducing light pollution is a cheap fix in the design of the lamps and in some cases will provide better lighting where it’s wanted.
I would like the idiots at a nearby McDonalds to dump their search light. As if I would follow their search light only to realize that I really, really wanted a Big Mac.
Dunno if that requires more Gov't regulation, though.
Agree - 100%
I’ve watched the Aurora Borealis as well as the Milky Way in Bar Harbor, and I highly recommend anyone visit there in Summer. One of the most beautiful spots on Earth, especially the walking trail behind the Bar Harbor Inn, along Frenchman’s Bay with the view of the Porcupine Islands and an excellent place to stargaze at night. Acadia Nat’l Park is beautiful also.
It’s much nicer in September when all the tourons leave.
Try sittin’ on top of the Bear Tooth Mountains in Montana...That’s the best I’ve ever seen...
The search light is only there to protect against a possible airstrike by Burger King forces.
Born and raised in NYC, I have never seen the sky look like that.
I’ve come close a couple of times in Pennsylvania, but I’ve never seen anything like that picture. I’d like to very much.
They haven't seen my bare .....ah, forget it. They'll get thru life ok.....
Tx I’ll give it a try, I have been to Yellowstone and Grand Teton. Magnificent.
Just the suburbs of NJ was enough to hide the Milky Way from me, it is quite a shock when you first see it and realize whoa, you really can see the galaxy across the whole sky!
(Amateur Telescope Maker)
We just built in coastal Maine but not quite as far up as Bar Harbor. The night sky is beautiful like I remember it as a kid. Keeping light from shining upwards is, besides the aesthetic part, just plain sensible.
I don’t think we see skies like that anywhere on this earth. It’s a loooong exposure.
But when I have been out away from the lights, the sky is something amazing. The Milky Way I saw once, on Hatteras, and the Northern Lights in Ontario, more than thirty years ago.
I used to enjoy going out on cold, crystal-clear nights in December. The Geminid meteor shower would be in full swing, and the milky way made a cool backdrop for it.
Then, my hands and feet would start to hurt from the cold, and I'd go inside. :-) Like I say, I miss the show, but not enough to move back there. :-)
We used to call 'em "Summer Complaints".
But you're right, September is the best month. Post-Labor Day, Pre-Leaf Peepers. Still fairly warm, can generally not expect to get snow (although it's not unheard of!).
One December evening a couple years ago I was treated to a huge aurora display here in Idaho. Lots of green shimmering curtains of light with a few displays of "rays" similar to rays of sunshine, but all green. It was a very intense display. Too bad I didn't have an appropriate camera to capture some photos.
“Ive watched the Aurora Borealis as well as the Milky Way in Bar Harbor, and I highly recommend anyone visit there in Summer. One of the most beautiful spots on Earth, especially the walking trail behind the Bar Harbor Inn, along Frenchmans Bay with the view of the Porcupine Islands and an excellent place to stargaze at night. Acadia Natl Park is beautiful also.”
Acadia Park is beautiful... especially after all the tourists have gone home.
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