Dark skies are for everyone | TheUnion.com

Dark skies are for everyone

Who among us hasn’t been outside on a dark, crystalline summer night, looked up at the sky, and been awestruck by the wonder of the starry night sky? When the season and conditions are right, not only tens of thousands of stars, but even the Andromeda Galaxy – the most distant object visible by the naked eye – can be seen.

In semi-rural Nevada County, unlike in nearby lowland counties, the ability to see the stars is still largely unimpaired. But there is a growing threat to our natural right to see the night sky: increasing numbers of unshielded and unnecessary lights in our cities and unincorporated area. A recent article in this paper described plans for a new observatory at Sierra College, but a single unshielded mercury vapor “yard light” even a great distance from such a telescope could seriously degrade nighttime viewing.

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