Responsible lighting

I grew up in God’s Country, and remember as a teenager lying on the diving board and looking up at a swath of luminous nighttime “cloud.” I wondered what it was.

It was the Milky Way.

I grew up under dark skies, with a love of the night, the moon, and the stars. A thousand stars and true darkness were mine every cloudless, moonless night. And there were many to enjoy.

But ever since I grew up and moved out, I’ve never lived in another place with dark night skies. I can see stars from the house I live in now, but not many. My street is dotted with streetlamps, and I live just a few miles from downtown. To see the Milky Way I’d have to drive an hour or more out of town. So I’m linking to this opinion piece by an Asheville neighbor and internet friend about responsible lighting, and how cities can help keep the skies dark for all lovers of the night to enjoy.

The stars are fading over Asheville and Buncombe County

by Bernard Arghiere

published September 1, 2006 12:15 am

Fourteen years ago I could see the Milky Way clearly from my home in east Asheville. Now that star-flecked band of our home galaxy and many other stars are fading from visibility as growth and development significantly increase light pollution that “whitens” our night skies. Light pollution or “sky-glow” is generally acknowledged throughout the United States and worldwide, and many communities are doing something about it.

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