By Tony Gonzalez|
The News Virginian
In stargazing circles, spotting the Milky Way is a common way to measure the darkness of the night sky.
Look up on a moonless summer night in Waynesboro, and it’s still possible to see the galaxy. In an effort to keep it that way, the city recently joined neighboring localities in rewriting zoning codes to limit light pollution.
Ordinance changes and technology improvements are catching on, to the benefit of the stars above, said area astronomers who just wrapped up International Dark Sky Week. They used those days to ask businesses and cities to limit lighting, because despite growing awareness of light pollution, commercial development continues to erode the night.
In addition to preserving astronomical views, dark sky proponents said shielded and downward directed lighting is safer for drivers, kinder to neighbors, and gentler on electric bills.
“The amount of light pollution has gotten worse,” said Waynesboro High School astronomy teacher Charlie Cox.
“Facing north is terrible,” he said. “One thing that is good is that most of the new light fixtures are covered.”
Read the full story at NewsVirginian.com.
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