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Dark Skies

Discussion in 'Broadlands Community Issues' started by jaxmanjoe, Nov 15, 2002.

  1. jaxmanjoe

    jaxmanjoe Blah, Blah, Blah

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    Just a reminder to make sure any lights you purchase for your property are night sky friendly. I'm not sure about the HOA codes, but flood lights and such that you might think is a good thing to leave on all night may be messing up someone's ability to see the stars.

    Proper sky-friendly lights are ones where the buld itself is surrounded on all sides and above by solid material. This means that the light will only shine through the opening in the bottom. If the bulb light has side or top access then the light is allowed up into the air. This results in light 'pollution' and is something that we should try to avoid.

    If anyone has any comments or questions, post them here and I'll try to get answers. There is actaully a National Organization on Dark Skies trying to make light fixture codes tougher.

    What we can do is try to keep off any extra outdoor lights that are not necessary, especially back-yard flood lights, and/or not in use at the moment.

    If you are like me and grew up in this area you are well aware of the fact that our night time sky is not nearly as beautiful as it was when we were kids. You have to go pretty far out into the country to do things like see galaxies and nebulas with the naked eye.

    Also, anyone interested in getting together a trip to Skyline Drive for some great night time star gazing let me know. I've got a Meade ETX60 portable telescope with various lenses for see some pretty impressive sights.

    Joe
    jwmaloney67@aol.com

    Joseph Maloney
     
  2. asher

    asher New Member

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    I agree wholeheartedly with your recommendations, Joe, and with the value of limiting light pollution in Ashburn/Broadlands. Unfortunately, judging by the antagonism toward recent attempts at legislating Dark Sky protections in Loudoun County, I think you are fighting a losing battle. In the last go-around, the critics of Dark Skies managed to frame it as an attack on Christmas -- I'm still trying to figure that one out.

    I grew up in a semi-rural area of Bucks County, PA, and I can still remember my fascination as a child with the cosmos gained from the utter immensity of the stars I could see on a clear night, including the entire expanse of the Milky Way. My children have not had that benefit, and I honestly think that they have missed something from their lives by not enjoying that awe-inspiring view. I live on the hill at the edge of Broadlands, but even up here our view of the night sky is severely limited by ground illumination.

    Speaking of night views, folks who read this might want to step outside between 10pm and 11pm on the night of November 18 and look northeast toward the horizon to try to catch a portion of the Leonid meteor shower -- the largest shower of the year. Predictions are that this will be an exceptional year in terms of the frequency of shooting stars, possibly the best show for many decades to come. Unfortunately, northeast is the general direction of Ashburn, Cascades, Sterling and the rest of the Washington/Baltimore metro area, so ground light will severely hamper any sightings -- plus, there is a full moon that night which will be almost directly overhead. So, unless the shower is a storm, it might be a washout (literally). A second and even larger storm is predicted for early the next morning (November 19) between 5am and 6am just before sunrise, and at that time the moon won't be as much of a hindrance since it will be very low on the western horizon. Anyone who's up at that time and wants to take a look should gaze high in the southeast sky. I have found that meteor showers often don't live up to their advance billing, especially in Bright Sky areas such as ours, but, you never know...
     
  3. SpongeBob

    SpongeBob New Member

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    One of my main criteria for selecting to build in Broadlands was the lack of street lights. I love the fact that it is darker in Broadlands at night than almost any other community its size. Now, if we could do something about the bright lights at the kids' pool that are left on all night long.
    The lighting issue should be one that is brought up at the community meeting this Monday (11/18) with the developer of the Safeway retail site, BF Saul. This is our opportunity to influence these kinds of details for the shopping center. Speak now or forever hold your peace...
     
  4. GCyr

    GCyr New Member

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    I thought the developer's meeting was conducted on 11/6, which I missed. If there's a meeting this Monday (11/18), please let me know when and where.

    Thanks
    GCyr

     
  5. SpongeBob

    SpongeBob New Member

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    This is not the Developer's meeting; rather a community meeting with BF Saul representatives specifically about the Safeway shopping center development. There is a notice on the sign board. It is Monday, 11/18 at 7pm at the Community Center.
     
  6. hornerjo

    hornerjo Senior Member

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    "Now, if we could do something about the bright lights at the kids' pool that are left on all night long."

    I believe that for insurance reasons they are required to be on all night long.

    John

    ---------------
    Got Broadband?
     

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