Sunday, October 08, 2006

Dark skies

The wholesale renewal of Neath Port Talbot's old street lights gives opportunity not only to make sure that the most energy-efficient equipment is installed, but also that light pollution should be reduced.

As anyone who has spent a night in mid-Wales will attest, there is nothing so magnificent as the sight of a deep velvet sky studded all over with stars, undimmed by the glow from street lights.

We wouldn't go as far as Iceland did at the end of September. According to Reuter "Authorities in the capital Reykjavik will turn off street lights on Thursday evening and people are also being encouraged to sit in their houses in the dark", writer Andri Snaer Magnason said on Wednesday, "while the lights are out, an astronomer will describe the night sky over national radio."

Sadly, the Icelandic experiment failed because of cloud cover on the night.

- Frank Little
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