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America’s Holiday Lights Can Be Seen From Space

America’s holiday lights can be seen from space

Forget going out to view your neighborhood's Christmas lights this year: You can do it the 21st-century way, bathed in the pallid glow of a monitor. That's because NASA has just released a wonderful bunch of satellite images of American cities, gleaming like nebulae with all their candy-colored LEDs, sparkling icicle nets, and illuminated, blow-up Santa Clauses. Note that NASA's tech isn't so advanced it can tell a radiant tree-topper from a porch lamp, but it has measured a seasonal…

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First Of 55,000 Current By GE Streetlights Installed In Innovative Regional Program Spanning 11 Southern California Cities

First of 55,000 current by GE streetlights installed in innovative regional program spanning 11 Southern California cities

The City of Murrieta, California earlier this month became the first of 11 Riverside County cities to obtain ownership of thousands of streetlights that will be retrofit with LED fixtures to minimize light pollution, enhance public safety and save approximately $60 million in reduced energy and maintenance costs over a 20-year period. The Western Riverside Council of Governments (WRCOG) is working on behalf of the 11 local jurisdictions to facilitate the purchase of streetlights from Southern California Edison (SCE) and…

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Reserve A Big Part Of Local Dark Sky Efforts

Reserve a big part of local dark sky efforts

The stars at night are big and bright … for now. But encroaching development and lights are making our views of the nightly heavens less heavenly. But several communities and individuals are working to see that this part of the Hill Country can still focus upward for inspiration and awe at night and see the Milky Way in all its glory. A Dark Sky Reserve area is being planned with Enchanted Rock State Natural Area serving as its center. The…

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New Mexico Blazing A Dark Sky Trail

New Mexico blazing a dark sky trail

While New Mexico has long been a destination for dark sky enthusiasts, there had been no organized effort to promote dark sky tourism until the state’s Tourism Department got involved. On a visit to Capulin Volcano National Monument in the fall of 2017, staff members from the New Mexico Tourism Department learned about the dark sky programs there and why dark skies are important. This experience “kicked us into action,” according to David Griscom, who spearheaded the project as Tourism…

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Seeking America’s Quietest Spots: The Quest For Silence In A Loud World

Seeking America’s Quietest Spots: The Quest for Silence in a Loud World

The hiker trudged up a logging road and into a valley, tracing a route that seemed unremarkable. There were no sweeping views of the mountains that towered nearby. There was no summit to scale. Yet he stopped suddenly, jubilant, after about four miles of walking. He had found exactly what he was searching for: quiet. “Let’s see,” said the hiker, Dennis Follensbee, “how we experience three minutes of silence.” In these loud times — with political foes yelling on television,…

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The Deadly Lure Of City Lights

The deadly lure of city lights

Every Sept. 11, beams of light rise more than four miles into the night sky from the National 9/11 Memorial & Museum in Lower Manhattan to honor the nearly 3,000 lives lost in America’s most devastating terrorist attacks. The glowing columns elegantly trace the outlines of the twin towers. But they also beckon thousands of migrating birds into the city’s skyscraper canyons, where they can become disoriented and crash headlong into buildings. Since 2005, thanks to efforts by New York…

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Varsity Home Opener Spotlights City’s Environmental Cause

Varsity Home Opener Spotlights City’s Environmental Cause

Wimberley, Texas, September 10, 2018 — Kick-off for the first Texan Varsity Football home game will be under Dark Sky Friendly lights Friday, September 14. Shining a spotlight on Wimberley Independent School District’s commitment to the city’s focus on environmental consciousness, Friday Night Lights at Texan Stadium are new and noise-free. Earlier this year Wimberley was designated, a Dark Sky Friendly community by the International Dark Sky Association.   “We all benefit when we work together as a community to…

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Your Next Trip? It’s Written In The Stars

Your next trip? It’s written in the stars

Like watching the sunset, seeking out the Big Dipper in the night sky is a vacation ritual. But in the past five years, according to experts, the term astrotourism has evolved to describe more intentional travel to places with dark skies and more visible stars. “Astrotourism is any kind of tourism that involves the night sky or visiting facilities related to astronomy like observatories, and combining that with a broader sense of ecotourism where interaction with nature is what the visitor experience…

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Texas Hill Country Sets Example For Saving Dark Skies

Texas Hill Country sets example for saving dark skies

Dripping Springs became the first city in Texas to become dark sky- certified by International Dark-Sky Association, and since the Texas Hill Country has become a hotbed for dark sky preservation. Dripping Springs City Administrator Michelle Fischer said there are currently more active groups working on developing dark-sky ordinances or getting dark sky-certified in Texas, specifically the Hill Country, than any other area in the world. An Arizona-based nonprofit that has set standards for lighting and protected the skies since…

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Artificial Light Is Killing Our View Of The Night Sky. But We Can Change That.

Artificial light is killing our view of the night sky. But we can change that.

Through much of human history, our ancestors looked up at a night sky filled with stars that set planting patterns and helped lead them across continents. We've since filled that night sky with artificial light, brightening our immediate surroundings and dimming the stars above.  New York City residents can live their entire lives seeing fewer than a dozen of the brightest stars and planets. Most people living east of the Mississippi River will never see the Milky Way in all its sparkling…

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