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Dark Night

Mercury Winter 2009 Table of Contents

Davis opening page

Image courtesy of Dan and Cindy Duriscoe (National Park Service Night Sky Program).

by Rowena Davis

What do the reproductive habits of sea turtles have to do with the view of the constellation Cassiopeia? How can smart security practices help inner-city children locate Orion’s Belt in the sky? These threads are all tied to the concept of sensible lighting.

Such concerns can become the basis of a smart lighting plan that enhances safety and recreation while improving nighttime ambiance and revealing the tapestry of stars unobscured by light pollution. Without care, the myriad needs of a developed society can blanket the night with inappropriate illumination that robs citizens in cities around the globe of a vital natural resource.

For 20 years the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) has made the task of protecting the night its sole mission.

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