Have you ever thought about what it was like at night before electric lights were invented? People relied on candlelight, and later light from gas lamps to illuminate the night. Today, in our cities and towns, it is very difficult to find a place that is truly dark at night. While this is certainly convenient, it has created unexpected problems, particularly for astronomers.
Read these articles to find out why electric lights at night has created some unexpected problems:
As you read these articles, think about your answers to these questions. You can record your answers on the Too Bright at Night? student sheet:
- What are some of the reasons that the night sky is “brightening"?
- Is all of this brightening necessary?
- What problems are caused by excessive lighting of the night sky?
- Who or what is being affected? What are some of the problems for animals?
- Can anything be done about it?
- How would reducing light pollution save money?
- Is there a solution that would still enable us to provide nighttime illumination for those who need it?
This esheet is a part of the Too Bright at Night? lesson.