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Has Anyone Noticed?More Than Light Pollution.


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#1    davros of skaro

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 06:15 AM

First off I know how crazy this will sound to most people.

I have noticed from a period between the years 1990-2000 up to the present  the night sky is much less visible.I am talking in the North East of the United States where I used to see much more stars,and even the haze of the Ort Cloud.Even many miles from major cities the same effect.It looks to me it's more than causation of light pollution.

I have been out West (Arizona,Nevada etc) in recent years,and the stars are much more abundant,but where I am only the higher magnitude stars are visible.The fainter stars are far faint.
I remember looking in the night sky in the late 80's,and the night sky was awesome,but now it's dull compared to what it was.I understand increased light pollution,but I can go hours away from cities with little improvement in the night sky.

For over a decade I entertained some wild ideas beyond plausible why this is so.

Anyone noticed this even if they think it's just increased population with light pollution?

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#2    Eldorado

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 06:25 AM

Maybe your eyes ain't what they used to be.


#3    Nighthawk9653

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 06:41 AM

Where I am out in the country, at least 2 hours away from any major city, the stars are magnificent. There's just millions of them... But I guess I can't really answer to if I've noticed a change, I don't remember observing the sky with too much detail when I was only little.

I do notice though, that when you do get close to a big city, the more brighter stars are more prominent, and you can't even see the fainter stars. Makes the sky look dull.
I think I'd get majorly depressed if I lived in a big city and wasn't able to see the stars.

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#4    davros of skaro

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 01:32 PM

View PostEldorado, on 20 October 2013 - 06:25 AM, said:

Maybe your eyes ain't what they used to be.

True,but I can still pass the eye examine for my drivers license without the need for glasses.

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#5    davros of skaro

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 01:36 PM

View PostNighthawk9653, on 20 October 2013 - 06:41 AM, said:

Where I am out in the country, at least 2 hours away from any major city, the stars are magnificent. There's just millions of them... But I guess I can't really answer to if I've noticed a change, I don't remember observing the sky with too much detail when I was only little.

I do notice though, that when you do get close to a big city, the more brighter stars are more prominent, and you can't even see the fainter stars. Makes the sky look dull.
I think I'd get majorly depressed if I lived in a big city and wasn't able to see the stars.

I live 45 minutes from a big city,but the sky still looks dull 2-3 hours away.In 20 years I have seen a great change in the night sky.
It must be light pollution then,because my trips thru the desert out West a couple of years ago the sky looked great.

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#6    Ryu

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 01:45 PM

Not only is the light pollution expanding its parameters but you have to factor in the air pollution too. It is just as strong in the dark as in the daylight.

It seems that now days you'd have to travel further and further just to see the night sky.
Its sad..cities need lights but there are plenty of new technologies out there that can direct the lights to where it is needed, like the ground instead of the sky.

I read about it nearly two decades ago or so yet we are still using antiquated methods of lighting...at least where I am at.


#7    ChrLzs

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 01:52 PM

The haze of the Oort cloud?  That has not ever been visible.  If you mean the Milky Way, then ok, but that casts some doubt on your astronomical interest now, let alone back in the times you are comparing it to...

Thing is, it's not just getting away from the city that is the trick.  It is also the atmospheric conditions on the night that you do the looking.  Yes, the sky is more polluted now, but I can assure you that on my most recent trip to the Nullarbor Plain and an indigenous settlement at Oak Valley in South Australia (about as sfar as you will get from civilisation) the night sky in general and the Milky Way in particular looked just as stunning as they ever did.

So maybe if you were just lucky enough to look up some years back on really good nights, and then now, looked up on poor nights, that might explain your perception.  But you also need to take into account the changes in your senses over the years and any preconceptions or fears or biases you may have now versus back then.  If you don't measure these things objectively, the chances of the wrong result are very, very high indeed.

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#8    davros of skaro

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 02:18 AM

View PostRyu, on 20 October 2013 - 01:45 PM, said:

Not only is the light pollution expanding its parameters but you have to factor in the air pollution too. It is just as strong in the dark as in the daylight.

It seems that now days you'd have to travel further and further just to see the night sky.
Its sad..cities need lights but there are plenty of new technologies out there that can direct the lights to where it is needed, like the ground instead of the sky.

I read about it nearly two decades ago or so yet we are still using antiquated methods of lighting...at least where I am at.

You make three great points,and I agree these are factors that needs to be taken care of.

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#9    davros of skaro

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 02:30 AM

View PostChrLzs, on 20 October 2013 - 01:52 PM, said:

The haze of the Oort cloud?  That has not ever been visible.  If you mean the Milky Way, then ok, but that casts some doubt on your astronomical interest now, let alone back in the times you are comparing it to...

Thing is, it's not just getting away from the city that is the trick.  It is also the atmospheric conditions on the night that you do the looking.  Yes, the sky is more polluted now, but I can assure you that on my most recent trip to the Nullarbor Plain and an indigenous settlement at Oak Valley in South Australia (about as sfar as you will get from civilisation) the night sky in general and the Milky Way in particular looked just as stunning as they ever did.

So maybe if you were just lucky enough to look up some years back on really good nights, and then now, looked up on poor nights, that might explain your perception.  But you also need to take into account the changes in your senses over the years and any preconceptions or fears or biases you may have now versus back then.  If you don't measure these things objectively, the chances of the wrong result are very, very high indeed.

You are right.I have mistaken the haze around the Milky way band as the Ort Clound which as I now found out is hypothetical.

Thank you for your confirmation.

I allways looked at the night sky,and I have noticed the change over time,but I figured to ask others now.

Air,and light pollution I conclude are the factors in my geographic area that has made the night sky not as lively as it used to be.

Thanks for input everyone.

BTW the major city I am near is NYC,so the city that never sleeps gives it's glow from beyond the mountain South East of me.I never kept track of this glow,but the night sky I did,and it sucks. :no:

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Three lectures...View and share.
http://m.youtube.com...h?v=MzrIHdN9O7M <-- "Ten Lies About Jesus"
http://m.youtube.com...h?v=MclBbZUFSag <-- "Gospels=Myth Making"
https://m.youtube.co...h?v=79Lmmy2jfeo <-- "The Mythical Jesus"

#10    cerberusxp

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 02:36 AM

Try using a light meter and write down the times and dates you take the readings, I would suggest a two to three year study.

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