Tuesday, August 28, 2012
While watching a PBS show about astronomy recently, I learned about the negative effects of light pollution as they relate to the night sky. Sea turtles, which normally move quickly to water upon hatching, tend to get their directions confused these days due to light pollution -- artificial lights taking over the night sky. I simply can't imagine living somewhere where I couldn't see, really see the night sky. While no expert on constellations, I love looking at the stars. I grew up living in the country where the night sky was magnificent. My parents could be found frequently in their lawn chairs, enjoying the evening sky. Recently, I had the opportunity to enjoy the night sky myself -- full moon, bright stars twinkling against a black expanse. I sat right up in bed and watched out the window for the longest time, singing to myself the "Starry, Starry Night" lyrics from Don McLean's "Vincent," one of my all-time favorite songs from the 1970s. Sea turtles, humans, all living creatures benefit from a real starry, starry night. Perhaps it's time that we turn off the lights, if just for a while.