The Astronomy Picture of the Day is a favourite of mine, and it offers many glorious photos deserving of attention. Today’s image is particularly stunning, in part because it demonstrates how much we’ve lost with our careless light pollution. Take a look at A Protected Night Sky Over Flagstaff to see the gorgeous panorama we waste with all our unnecessary light spill:
… Flagstaff now enjoys the status of being the first International Dark Sky City, and maintains a lighting code that limits lights from polluting this majestic nighttime view. … Visible in the above spectacular panorama are the San Francisco Peaks caped by a lenticular cloud. Far in the distance, the plane of the Milky Way Galaxy arcs diagonally from the lower left to the upper right, highlighted by the constellations of Cassiopeia, Cepheus, and Cygnus. On the far right, the North America Nebula is visible just under the very bright star Deneb.
The other morning I was up before dawn to let the dogs out. It was clear and dark, still. The neighbours’ lights were out. The sky was beautiful and I could clearly see the Milky Way, and even a naked eye nebula or cluster, possibly the M7. The sky I was looking at wasn’t a patch on the above though.If you too like gorgeous photos, including astronomy images, remember to read More and better daily desktop photos.
Oh, and a small disclaimer: at the moment half of the windows on our house don’t have curtains or blinds, so, yes, we spill light too. We do turn off lights in rooms we’re not using, and we’re looking into appropriate window coverings for energy conservation and all that too. Our security lights are motion-triggered and turn off automatically.