It’s not often that I complain about stuff, well, there’s often not much point really 😉 Anyway, this evening Julie pointed out that the sky was pretty clear and may be worth a session with the camera.
So, with a thick jacket on and the camera mounted on a tripod I popped outside, to start with I pointed the camera at the Pleiades (M45)…
Now you’ll admit, the sky is fairly black behind the stars and pretty much what you’d expect from astrophotography 🙂 I then tried to catch Orion as he popped up above the Pennines in the distance, this is when the problems started. I knew that the light pollution in the area was getting unpleasant, I did not know it had become as bad as it had though.
Try spotting the difference between these two images…
I find it quite sad, for quite a number of reasons. First of all it’s sad that I can’t pop out and take the odd photograph of the night sky without worrying about which direction I can point the camera in order to avoid the light pollution. Secondly, it’s sad that when we live in times of such concern about climate change so many people are ignorant to the amount of energy they are wasting every night, because lets face it, light that goes to pollute the skies is effectively energy that is wasted. Light does not come from nothing, it is energy, and energy that is wasted costs not only an increase in some form of pollution, but is a big waste of money (unless you get your electricity for free of course which is doubtful these days). Finally, it’s sad that the next generation will not see the skies as I have seen them, sparkling in the perfect black void.
It’s worth noting that in the polluted sky image above one of the main contributors to the light pollution is courtesy of these guys who at times have been known to say how sympathetic they are to the environmental concerns 😉 At least tonight they did not have their laser show going 🙁
Now we need to buy a motorhome, then we can escape from this rural light pollution and visit some dark skies again.
For more information on light pollution look here.