Light Pollution / Nightscape

Light pollution dome from Kitchener and Waterloo

Badly designed and implemented outdoor lighting such as street lights, house lights, business lights and lit signs all contribute to light pollution. This negatively effects not only our night sky but our nocturnal environment, the ecology of it, which in-turn effects people, wildlife and even air quality.

Light dome from Kitchener-Waterloo caused by artifical light sources (street lights, porch lights, business lights and signs). This not only washes away the stars in the night sky but also has been linked to negative affects on our night time environment health (ecology).

The effects of light pollution are not confined to the city or town itself that is causing it. This photo I took shows the light dome (skyglow) from Kitchener and Waterloo in Ontario, rising into the night sky and washing out the stars. It was taken a 30 minute drive outside of the cities, near Linwood, Ontario.

Light pollution dom emanates into the night sky from the cities of Kitchener and Waterloo in Ontario, Canada
Another photo I took of the light dome emanating from Kitchener and Waterloo, Ontario.

Light pollution created by cities and towns is adversely effecting rural areas around them even. The spread of light pollution has become much like a cancer of the night environment.

Everyone needs to help reduce the spread of it. Shielding outdoor lights, pointing the light down and not up and turning off lights over night when not needed are just a few small things you can do to stop this cancer of the night. Not using LED lights that are bright white which contains a lot of blue wavelength which has been shown to increase skyglow light pollution is also good. Warmer whites with colour temperatures 3000K or less (2200-2700K) are better.

For more information on light pollution and how you can help reduce it visit the International Darksky Association.

Shawn Nielsen

My story began nearly 40 years ago looking up at the Moon with a small collapsible telescope my Father had. Encouraged by my parents, who bought me my very own telescope, a 4.5" reflector, I began to explore the night sky from my family home backyard. Today I do astrophotography from my home in Kitchener, Ontario and also with remote telescopes located in New Mexico and Australia. Some of my images have won awards and have been featured online and in magazines.

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