Mars

OK guys, calm down about the Mars thing already. I know it's close to Earth, but still, it's not like this is the only time you can ever view it. Especially here in Northern Europe, you can see it much better later on when it climbs up in the sky: at the moment it is so low that any bonus given by the distance is compensated for by the low elevation and pollution.

However, it reminds me of one thing: The Czech government has issued a law against light pollution (space.com story is good, too, the law text is here), which I think is a really good idea.

From June, the authorities will be required to shield lamp-post lights and other public illumination to control the spread of light, and use flat rather than curved-belly glass to prevent light shooting upwards and sideways. Teams of astronomers will work with energy conservationists, lighting engineers and the public to limit the amount of 'wasted' light. Advertising billboards will have to be lit from above, with their lights pointing downwards.

The law is not only a good idea because of the diminished light pollution, but also because it just does not make any sense to light the night sky - nobody save a few astronauts and pilots are enjoying the view anyway. We can save a lot of energy by pointing our lights downwards... Actually, I think that a similar kind of law has been passed around in the Finnish parliament as well, but so far it has not actualized.

But anyway, if gazing at Mars makes you happy now, then don't forget to take a look at the other wonders of the universe from time to time as well.




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"Main_blogentry_260803_1" last changed on 26-Aug-2003 18:42:48 EEST by JanneJalkanen.

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