Mountain Laurel Students Learn About Light Pollution

Georgia State University’s Department of Physics and Astronomy Ph.D. candidate Ryan Norris

THOMAS, WV—In late May, children from Mountain Laurel Learning Cooperative heard from a visiting astronomer.

Ryan Norris, Ph.D. candidate from Georgia State University’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, gave an educational talk to the group of children. Ryan educated them about objects in the night sky, our Solar System, and the effects of light pollution before taking questions from the curious students.

Norris told the children, “This is a very special place to live if you want to see the stars.” Tucker County, he said, is one of the darkest places on the East Coast. One of the children volunteered to explain that when there is artificial light, the stars are not as visible since it is similar to daytime when the sunlight blots out the light of the other stars. Norris told the children, “One thing you can do to keep the skies dark is to turn the lights off when you’re not using them.”

According to the International Dark Sky Association (IDA), “Poor lighting not only creates glare and light pollution but also wastes enormous amounts of energy and money.”

There are measures each Tucker County resident can take in order to save on energy costs and preserve our dark night sky so that future generations will be able to see the stars as brightly as we see them now. In addition to turning off the lights when not in use, home owners can also install down-facing outdoor lighting and fixtures with a Seal of Approval from the IDA.