California Today: The Push to Reclaim Starry Skies

Friday: The fight for dark skies, a National League pennant for the Dodgers, and a photo series from the Santa Rosa inferno.

Comments: 12

  1. Kudos to the big cities for doing what they can to reduce light pollution. But, if you want to see a dark sky and feel the calming effect upon your soul, come to Borrego Springs.

  2. Give me a break--cities are changing light bulbs for the same reason I did--to SAVE MONEY--they could less about the night sky. That is just good "copy". don't be naive. It may turn out to have a good effect but it is NOT the reason. If you fall for that, you will fall for anything.

  3. Cities that replace their old lights with decorative 19th century replica lights aren’t doing anyone any favors. These radiate light in all directions (the sky, neighboring house, etc). You will often find them in historic neighborhoods and suburban faux-urbanism developments, complete with high-intensity bulbs. As if there’s anything “historic” about those...

  4. After Irma hit us here in SW Florida and we had no power for a week the night sky was truly astounding.

  5. I expect that as the drug culture grows with more legalized maryjane and other drugs of choice, the populace will see stars, but they won't have to go out in to dangerous night to see them. do you actually think people go out to look at the stars when they spend 10 hours a day looking at the iphone and tv?

  6. On McDonalds, in spite of what they say about what they are doing about fast food and obesity, the last time i ate there all of their window advertisements (in every window) were for high calorie foods. They relentlessly push this stuff, with discounts for giant sizes. Congress is still subsidizing more fructose, rather than organic produce, and they are owned by chemical companies that routinely sell agricultural chemicals that do harm to bees, not to mention human health.

  7. Lassen National Park (in California) has an annual Dark Sky Festival in August. The amazing dark skies there, coupled with the high elevation, provide absolutely stunning views of the night sky. This is not only true during the festival, but at that time there are lots of astronomers around with telescopes to look through. I grew up in Davis, in the Central Valley, and over the past four or five decades I have seen the skies there become much brighter than they used to be. It's even happened up in the high Sierra, though the East Side is still very dark. This is simply the result of many more people living in the Valley than used to. I hope efforts to stem some of the unnecessary lighting will help return the stars to all our lives.

  8. Here in Palm Springs, an early influential city councilwoman campaigned against city lights so that residents and tourists could see the stars in the desert skies. As a result, the city has few street lights and stricter lighting ordinances than many cities. We probably also have more pedestrians who are run over by cars at night per capita than most cities and more nighttime traffic accidents. One of the first things you notice when driving here at night is how dark the streets are. Seeing the stars is great, but not at the cost of public safety in urban areas.

  9. 'We probably also have more pedestrians who are run over by cars at night per capita than most cities and more nighttime traffic accidents' Where's your evidence? Beliefs should hold no value when it comes to stuff like this. Show me the research.

  10. I have no idea what they're talking about, I live in light flooded Los Angeles and I've never had a problem seeing the Milky Ways at the candy counter. They're always right next to the Mars Bars. And the stars on Hollywood Blvd are usually pretty shiny as well.

  11. I lived on the Big Island of Hawaii, where they were very cognizant of light pollution because of the big telescopes on Mauna Kea. In the fall, I like Great Basin National Park on the east side of Nevada for their night sky, as dark as any I have seen. I am glad that cities in California are altering their lights to accommodate night viewing. For those who are skeptical of the value of looking at the stars, may I suggest you find a dark spot to watch the sky tonight.

  12. When the City of San Diego began the night sky lighting program in the late 80s, it was exactly the good kind of public service that this country used to promote for future generations. People in the new construction and development fields were on board to help the astronomers at Palomar Mountain Observatory as a mandate within building planning to local codes. And I believe it was understood that we were all helping one another out. The commonwealth really did exist for more than the money. Yes, we still have noise and light pollution of all sorts regardless. But putting our heads in the ground and not doing the small things doesn't help either. And if you don't like it here in California with all the rules and regulations bumming your trip and guv'ment ripping you off? As I always say - move to Texas! I'll ride the climate change here thank you very much. And still go to the deserts, mountains, and Pacific Ocean to see it all in person, day and night.