It’s true 🙂 2009 is to be the International Year of Astronomy and it couldn’t come at a better or more crucial time. The vision of the International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009) is to help the citizens of the world rediscover their place in the Universe through the day- and night time sky, and thereby engage a personal sense of wonder and discovery. All humans should realize the impact of astronomy and basic sciences on our daily lives, and understand better how scientific knowledge can contribute to a more equitable and peaceful society.
Many people wont care, but imagine a world where you can’t see the Southern Cross from your backyard… Oh… That’s already happened. Epsilon Crucis, the fifth star on the Southern Cross, can no longer be seen from your average Sydney or Melbourne suburban backyard, and Delta Crucis, the righthand star, might not be visible from urban areas by 2012. That… is an absolute disgrace, the Australian sky *without* the Southern Cross. Light pollution in this country is rampant and in an age of reducing pollution this aspect is often completely overlooked.
I’m hoping that 2009 will make people aware of such issues and think to themselves – Do I really need that light pointing up into the sky? Do I need that outside light on at all?
There is of course no need to wait until 2009. Turn them off now