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1458 megapixel image of the Earth at night in full resolution
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Magpie
Immortal


Dec 6 2012, 6:00am

Post #1 of 26 (357 views)
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1458 megapixel image of the Earth at night in full resolution Can't Post

http://ibnlive.in.com/...ution/309082-11.html

You can zoom in pretty close but I think it's more interesting to see the patterns the lights of civilization make.

Chicago is kind of interesting. It's like the light is spilling out over the water. Part of Florida seems to be doing that, too.


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Xanaseb
Tol Eressea


Dec 7 2012, 3:26am

Post #2 of 26 (192 views)
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I'm fascinated by all the lights in the North Sea (on the east side of the UK) [In reply to] Can't Post

... why so many? ? crazy. Well there are oil rigs.. but so many?

--I'm a victim of Bifurcation--
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N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Dec 7 2012, 4:39am

Post #3 of 26 (184 views)
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A bit depressing. [In reply to] Can't Post

It's so hard to find places where one can see the night sky without light pollution.

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Magpie
Immortal


Dec 7 2012, 4:52am

Post #4 of 26 (189 views)
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yes, that's true [In reply to] Can't Post

I thought of that, too.

Minneapolis has tried to make an effort to use street lighting that minimizes light pollution. It's clear from that photo that it doesn't make a whit of difference.

It is almost impossible to escape light pollution without driving hours and hours away from the city. We've tried.

The best place we achieved it was walking into the Badlands led by park rangers at night.


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squire
Valinor


Dec 7 2012, 5:34am

Post #5 of 26 (221 views)
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Yes, but... [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm of two minds about this.

The few times I've seen the stars at night in their full glory in clear air far from the cities, it was a magnificent sight. It made me realize something of the relationship with nature that mankind must have had in earlier times: Nature ruled, Man drooled. It is a humbling, and enriching, and oddly ennobling experience.

On the other hand, we as a species have worked hard for over a century to light the darkness. The fear, the strain, the lost time, the confusion and constraint, the danger from fire and accident that the dark hours imposed on us is gone now. We see what we want to see when we want to see it. When we go to bed, we darken the room at will to sleep. When we want light, we flip a switch. If every branch, sect, nation and tribe of mankind have eagerly embraced this technology as soon as it was available - which they have, I believe - why do we claim to be sorry about light "pollution"? Why do we want it both ways? Why can't we be wise enough to treat some losses as acceptable rather than regrettable?

Even the term pollution is problematic: lighting the night sky is not in the same category as poisoning the water and air with industrial waste, as far as I can see. The latter has actual effects on the long-term sustainability of life on earth and should be combated; the former arguably has long-term effects on our psychological relationship with the environment, but these are remarkable at best, rather than actionable.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Footeramas: The 3rd (and NOW the 4th too!) TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion; and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


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DanielLB
Immortal


Dec 7 2012, 8:05am

Post #6 of 26 (179 views)
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Shipping vessels as well I imagine [In reply to] Can't Post

Since its a big shipping lane.

It's depressing to see all these lights. Just imagine how different it was 70-80 years ago. Frown

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Patty
Immortal


Dec 7 2012, 9:51am

Post #7 of 26 (182 views)
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Good points, Squire. [In reply to] Can't Post

And of course the truth is that we can't have it both ways.
But seeing the night sky without any light pollution and all the stars in all their glory is surely now on my bucket list.

Permanent address: Into the West






Aragorn's Sexy Scar
Bree

Dec 7 2012, 8:16pm

Post #8 of 26 (184 views)
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I agree with Squire [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Just imagine how different it was 70-80 years ago. Frown



Why poo-poo technology? Just think how many lives have been enriched by such a simple thing as light!

I remember when I was very young my family still warmed our house by coal fire.We had one black & white TV, no telephone and no central heating.My sister & I shared a bed to keep warm in winter & we used hot water bottles for heat
.There was no microwave, no coffee machine or water filter, no freezer or the vast amount of food available from supermarkets that we have today.The world has embraced technology but there are still simple things to enjoy in life if you look for them Smile


silneldor
Half-elven


Dec 7 2012, 9:46pm

Post #9 of 26 (154 views)
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Dang! I knew i left the outhouse light on at the camp! [In reply to] Can't Post

Unsure...Laugh

Very amazing Magpie. I had a lot of fun with that.















lyndomiel
Rivendell

Dec 8 2012, 2:24am

Post #10 of 26 (154 views)
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Do you remember seeng the Milkyway in the sky as a child? [In reply to] Can't Post

I do - and I see you and I are the same age and live in the same area. Now I see the Milkyway from Cape Cod and the Florida Keys and occasionally when traveling to somewhat more quietly lighted areas like Greece and Ireland. It makes my heart sing to see it - awesome.

Also there are serious environmental impacts, disruption of ecosystems and adverse health effects. Sea turtles are endangered because lights from shore confuse newly hatched turtles. We over light our cities unnecessarily and use a tremendous amount of energy doing it (1/4 of our energy use comes from light). Heard of global warming? Headaches, insomnia, anxiety, fatigue - just some of the health effects.

Yes I want to read at night and watch LOTR - but I don't want to have my neighbors outside lights shining in my bedroom all night - nor do I have to see so many buildings in NYC and everywhere else illuminated all night long.


lyndomiel
Rivendell

Dec 8 2012, 2:25am

Post #11 of 26 (155 views)
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thanks Magpie [In reply to] Can't Post

 


DanielLB
Immortal


Dec 8 2012, 8:17am

Post #12 of 26 (169 views)
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I'm not disregarding technology at all [In reply to] Can't Post

And boy, I wouldn't like to have lived in the pre-electricity era (I like my home comforts).

My main concern is the massive environmental impacts that it has had, currently does, and will continue to have. Humans can reach sustainable development, and sustainability, with modern technology. What we have done in the last 100 years isn't good. And I imagine in 200 years time, the great "environmental crisis" of the 21st century will be in most history books!

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N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Dec 8 2012, 10:36pm

Post #13 of 26 (174 views)
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Just point the lights down. [In reply to] Can't Post

All the advantages of modern lighting that you describe would be retained, and it would be much easier for people to be humbled, enriched, and ennobled by the true view of the night sky that so few people nowadays ever see, if the light weren't pointing uselessly at the heavens -- which is what that picture shows. It's not doing us any good illuminating the sky, and it's so difficult now to see the neat stuff that happens up there.

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squire
Valinor


Dec 8 2012, 11:23pm

Post #14 of 26 (211 views)
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If only [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm pretty sure the effect of brightly lit areas in the world comes from ambient light reflected off surfaces, primarily streets and parking lots. Most night lighting is not aimed at the sky, for the obvious reason that it doesn't light anything and electricity is expensive. Light bounces - if you are in a dark room, a flashlight lights up the space to a useful degree no matter which direction it's pointed in.

Not that there isn't a lot of wasted light energy that isn't directed where it's needed, or that isn't needed at all. During the second World War, the U.S. imposed blackout restrictions on the East Coast after discovering that the U-boats were using the lit coasts to silhouette their targets. The blackout was fairly effective: stores went black, streetlights were turned off, you had to lower your window blinds at night, and drive without car headlights (not that anyone could drive, due to gas and rubber rationing). I believe people hated it, but put up with it due to the national emergency.

It might be fun for the nation to have a voluntary Black Out Night once a year, from 9-midnight on a clear and warm night, to let people go outside, look up, and see a bit more of what they're missing!



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Footeramas: The 3rd (and NOW the 4th too!) TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion; and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


DanielLB
Immortal


Dec 9 2012, 9:50am

Post #15 of 26 (168 views)
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It would certainy help, but ... [In reply to] Can't Post

Turning them off altogether would be a lot better.

I'm not an atmospheric chemist, so I only have limited knowledge on the issue - bright nighttime lights (whichever way they point) drive nighttime atmospheric chemistry, which would otherwise not be taking place (the best example being the lights provide photons, which obviously wouldn't be preset at night.) It's a massive problem in big cities.

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Magpie
Immortal


Dec 9 2012, 2:48pm

Post #16 of 26 (131 views)
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Lights in big cities [In reply to] Can't Post

as I said in another post, Minneapolis has tried to make an effort to switch to street lights that reduce upward illumination.

But us urban folk need our lights for security. It's a sad thing but lights help reduce crime.


LOTR soundtrack website ~ magpie avatar gallery
TORn History Mathom-house ~ Torn Image Posting Guide


silneldor
Half-elven


Dec 10 2012, 5:01am

Post #17 of 26 (134 views)
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As with all change, something tends to be lost and something gained [In reply to] Can't Post

It is a good thing the utilitarian use of light with its ease of use and its urban safety concerns. But the natural world suffers from it and i feel, so do we if we are not careful.

There is not much to suffer from the night world these days. The world of ancient man and the saber tooth tiger is gone. The remnant is the primitive brain which signals fear for base survival, but our other spheres can hold that in equilibrium. To experience true night and the clear night sky is a moment of revelation unhindered by fear. It is cause for the expansion of all our facilities as far as they can fathom.

So, i believe it is a matter, of graciously accepting the best of both worlds and truly live in both worlds as best we can. Otherwise i feel we will lose a part of ourselves, a vital part, a part that can deem humility and respect for the vastness of it all, and the still vast unknown-ness of it, and the fathomless breathtaking beauty of it that can reach deeply into what it means to be human. To experience a clear dawn out of true night with the slow passing of the brightest stars, with the coming of birdsong is truly exquisite.

I wandered on a bit kind of freely. I hope no one minds.















Magpie
Immortal


Dec 10 2012, 5:15am

Post #18 of 26 (224 views)
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"There is not much to suffer from the night world these days." [In reply to] Can't Post

I would say that depends on where you live. In large urban areas, dark covers a lot of illegal, often dangerous activity. Light is one way to combat it.


LOTR soundtrack website ~ magpie avatar gallery
TORn History Mathom-house ~ Torn Image Posting Guide


Ethel Duath
Valinor


Dec 10 2012, 4:58pm

Post #19 of 26 (126 views)
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Sil, you are a poet :) [In reply to] Can't Post

I've seen nights and a morning or two like that. It puts everything in perspective.Smile


dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


Dec 10 2012, 5:12pm

Post #20 of 26 (198 views)
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That's an awful bright light. [In reply to] Can't Post

At your outhouse, that is! Laugh No, I jest, we know it requires a flashlight to get out there in the dark. But even that lovely pond is not immune to lights in the dark of night.

The peacefulness of the silent cold moments before dawn are rarely felt by too many of us.

You're making me long for those days when we'd take the kids to the top of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park to await the first rays of the sun - awesome experiences!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"I desired dragons with a profound desire"






silneldor
Half-elven


Dec 11 2012, 2:54am

Post #21 of 26 (109 views)
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During the cooler times when the humidity is low [In reply to] Can't Post

the Milky Way traverses the heavens in full splendor and clarity, highlighting it as the cloud it is, every wave and fold from horizon to horizon.
And flashlights are not a necessity. The eyes after 30 minutes adjust quite well. My son and i have been up and down that ridge many times at night without artifical light.
A flash light in the end only blinds the vision from the remaining 95% of the darkness. With that light, the night will forever be dark and forbiding. I'd say take it with you and put it in a pocket. Be patient and the night will open up.

I would say Acadia is awaiting you d:).

I was down to my lot in NC where that community hold no street lights at all. And the surrounding mountains are state parks. Wouldn't ya know they have the same vivid 3-D Milky Way we 'ave in joisey, fancy that!Wink















silneldor
Half-elven


Dec 11 2012, 2:59am

Post #22 of 26 (124 views)
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Yes, [In reply to] Can't Post

''In large urban areas, dark covers a lot of illegal, often dangerous activity'' it is certainly true as i alluded to. But i then spoke concerning the rural, and the open forest being apart from that:).















silneldor
Half-elven


Dec 11 2012, 3:34am

Post #23 of 26 (117 views)
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And that is why there is a wonderful poet in yourself, Ethel D:). [In reply to] Can't Post

I believe a poet exist in us all. All we have to do open the doors of perception (as one author has said, BUT without drugs) and BE where we can do that, away from the mish-mash confusion of urbania.
I believe, our humble origins, and that primitive world in which we came to develop (so far), must be revisited with humility to see the intrinsic* value it still very much holds. I feel the ego of 'modern' man holds a folly-aspect to our future well-being.

But that is just my humble opinion, but also my joy from what comes from deep inside me.

* Intrinsic- Belonging to or arising from the true or fundamental nature of a thing; essential; inherent.















N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Dec 11 2012, 9:55pm

Post #24 of 26 (127 views)
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"3-mile-wide asteroid to buzz planet Earth tonight" [In reply to] Can't Post

Story here. Mind you, Toutatis will be too small and distant to see without a telescope, but it is an object that potentially could strike the Earth on day, with disastrous consequences. There are others. Amateur astronomy has a great tradition of discovering comets and asteroids, but many people these days probably have never even seen a meteor.

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Discuss Tolkien's life and works in the Reading Room!
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Delrond
Rohan


Dec 11 2012, 10:26pm

Post #25 of 26 (107 views)
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Geminids [In reply to] Can't Post

For those interested, we are nearing peak viewing of the annual Geminid meteor shower. Look skyward around midnight or so and you should be able to see these relatively slow moving meteors over the next week. You may see one every minute or so - be patient, they're coming. Plus with the new moon, viewing will better than most years. A telescope should not be necessary.

A few harmless flakes working together can unleash an avalanche of destruction.

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