Magazine article Geographical

Star Struck

Magazine article Geographical

Star Struck

Article excerpt

Images such as those of astronomer and light pollution campaigner Tyler Nordgren consistently amaze me. I grew up a city boy, a product of urban sprawl, population compression and high-rise living. Neighbours were strangers behind closed-door corridors and community was nothing more than a set of cards in a Monopoly set. The night sky ... well that was little more than an artificially-lit haze, the only stars an occasional Big Dipper visible when the bulbs in the streetlamps died out. The thought of being able to see the Milky Way with the naked eye just by looking upwards was the stuff of Buck Rogers. As Todd Pitock investigates this issue (page 44), our night skies are becoming ever more obscured in society's rush to electrically illuminate every aspect of our lives, and the side effects stretch far beyond simply reducing our views of the universe. Studies into cancer levels, rates of depression, human metabolism, even the reproductive cycle of sea turtles--everything points towards a life of brightly-lit health issues that will only increase with every new neon-shrouded advertising hoarding. …

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