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Light Pollution Is Key ‘bringer Of Insect Apocalypse’

Light pollution is key ‘bringer of insect apocalypse’

Light pollution is a significant but overlooked driver of the rapid decline of insect populations, according to the most comprehensive review of the scientific evidence to date. Artificial light at night can affect every aspect of insects’ lives, the researchers said, from luring moths to their deaths around bulbs, to spotlighting insect prey for rats and toads, to obscuring the mating signals of fireflies. “We strongly believe artificial light at night – in combination with habitat loss, chemical pollution, invasive…

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NIGHTS OVER TUCSON: How The Tucson, Arizona, LED Conversion Improved The Quality Of The Night

NIGHTS OVER TUCSON: How the Tucson, Arizona, LED conversion improved the quality of the night

Can a lighting retrofit in a growing metropolitan city save energy, maintain safety standards, and protect the starry night sky? __ Tucson, Arizona, is a major metropolitan city in the southwest United States. The city has a long-standing commitment to best lighting practices that protect the night. In fact, people who move to the area often remark on how bright the stars appear to shine. But as the city has grown, so has its light pollution. With major astronomical observatories…

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These Are The World’s Best Stargazing Spots

These are the world’s best stargazing spots

FOR MANY CITY people, a clear night sky is a mythical beast. We’ve heard the legends inspired by the constellations and we know sailors used the stars to guide their way home, but urban light pollution means we can’t quite see the heavens ourselves. Enter the International Dark-Sky Association. The U.S. nonprofit, founded in 1988, recognizes parks, reserves, and places across the world that offer the best views of the galaxy we call home. Most are open to campers or…

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Dark Skies Meeting Attracts Medina Crowd

Dark Skies meeting attracts Medina crowd

Nearly 40 people filled the meeting room at the Medina Community Library on Tuesday, Oct. 29, to be enlightened about a program called Dark Skies which helps combat light pollution from cities and towns. “We had a great turnout at the Medina Dark Skies Night,” said Cliff Kaplan, program manager for the Hill Country Alliance which sponsored the event along with the Bandera Electric Cooperative and the Medina Astronomy Club. “It is very clear that folks in Medina care deeply…

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New Research Sheds Light On Lunar Phase Impact On White-tailed Deer

New research sheds light on lunar phase impact on white-tailed deer

Conventional wisdom has long held that deer are more active on moonlit nights and most active under a full moon. The day after, the conjecture followed, deer move around less in the daylight. Some hunters staked their outdoors reputations in support of the theory, as well as their ability to fill a freezer full of venison. Companies that publish solar-lunar tables for the use of hunters bet their businesses on it. After last weekend’s general hunting season opener coincided with…

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How Flagstaff, Arizona, Switched To LEDs Without Giving Astronomers A Headache

How Flagstaff, Arizona, switched to LEDs without giving astronomers a headache

“I feel like we’re protecting the last tree, in a way.” That’s what Flagstaff, Arizona, city council member Austin Aslan said at a recent meeting. The subject of that earnest statement might surprise you: it was streetlights. To be more specific, he was talking about a careful effort to prevent streetlights from washing out the stars in the night sky. Flagstaff became the first city to earn a designation from the International Dark Sky Association in 2001. That came as a result…

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Grand Canyon Is The Dark Sky Place Of The Year. Here’s Why That’s Big

Grand Canyon is the Dark Sky Place of the Year. Here’s why that’s big

Lots of hard work went into making Grand Canyon an even better place to enjoy the night sky in recent years and that effort has been recognized. Grand Canyon National Park has been named Dark Sky Place of the Year by the International Dark-Sky Association. The park earned Dark Sky status in June after a six-year effort to replace nearly 3,500 light fixtures and perform other updates in the 1.2 million-acre park. Grand Canyon is the largest Dark Sky Park in…

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Geneva To Be Plunged Into Darkness (on Purpose) To Expose Light Pollution

Geneva to be plunged into darkness (on purpose) to expose light pollution

Almost 150 municipalities in greater Geneva will hold a planned blackout on Thursday night to raise public awareness of the negative effects of light pollution. Authorities across much of greater Geneva will switch off public lighting on the night of Thursday September 26 for a public awareness event being dubbed “La nuit est belle” (It’s a beautiful night/Nighttime is beautiful). “The initiative aims to raise awareness of the harmful effects of light pollution and also allow our 1 million inhabitants…

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Moonlight Helps White Barn Owls Stun Their Prey

Moonlight helps white barn owls stun their prey

Barn owls are skilled nocturnal hunters, swooping across open landscapes to scout out small rodents that scurry below. But scientists have long been puzzled by a trait that seems like it would work against the birds during their nighttime prowls. Some barn owls boast a brilliant white plumage—an unusual feature for an animal that should, in theory, need to remain inconspicuous against the darkened sky. The bellies of Tyto alba, as the common barn owl is formally known, can range…

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It’s Not Too Early To Plan For The Great American Total Solar Eclipse Of 2024

It’s not too early to plan for the Great American total solar eclipse of 2024

Wednesday (Aug. 21) marked the two-year anniversary of the Great American Solar Eclipse, and if you are eager to view the next celestial sensation to cross the North American skies, get ready for another eclipse treat on April 8, 2024. According to a study led by researchers at the University of Michigan last summer, about 88% of American adults viewed the total solar eclipse in 2017 either directly or digitally. The total solar eclipse could be seen from Oregon to…

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