Light Pollution…. and the Milky Way

Posted on Flickr
by makelessnoise

Note: This post is a retread post

West Yellowstone, September 11, 2007 – We’re camped a little over 6 miles from the western entrance of Yellowstone National Park. I had just finished picking up my tools after setting up our internet satellite dish – and happened to look up.

The sky was dark, but we have a street light right next to our camper at this campground, so I didn’t expect to see the inky black sky inset with thousands of twinkling stars. However, I was standing in the shadow of the camper which blocked the light from the street light.

Looking west, south, and north, there was no light pollution from surrounding towns – because there are no surrounding towns in those directions. To the east is the town of West Yellowstone and there was some light there, but not much.

I don’t know how long it’s been since I’ve seen such a starry night. It was easy to make out the Milky Way and the major constellations – at least the ones that I can still remember.

Most of the time, I simply do not have the opportunity as there are so many trees where we live that block the view. As well, there is a lot more humidity in the air which contributes to atmospheric haze that blocks starlight and diffuses the light of towns and cities over a wide area.

Over too much of the US, light pollution from the urbanization of America limits the view of the night sky.

Starry, Starry Night…..

camping, montana, now that’s cool!, on the road, Uncategorized, weather

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Debo Hobo Feb 9, 2009

    I can honestly say I hated ( I know that is a strong word but in this case it is the only one that fits) living in Arizona. But I have to admit the starry skies were a beaut plus I was able to lay out and enjoy them because there aren't any mosquitoes.

    I grew up in CT and up there the stars seem to be so much closer…but can't enjoy them due to massive mosquito attacks.

    Does anything I just typed make sense?

    <abbr>Debo Hobo´s last blog post..Stumble-lina Let Me Be Your Wings!</abbr>

  • Debo Hobo Feb 9, 2009


    <abbr>Debo Hobo´s last blog post..Stumble-lina Let Me Be Your Wings!</abbr>

  • Mike Feb 9, 2009

    Of course it makes sense.

    We lived in Connecticut for 3 1/2 years in the mid 1970s, though I was gone for half of that time – I was on submarines out of New London. I don't remember a thing about the night sky there.

  • We can still see the stars up in the mountains, but the light pollution is getting noticeable even there. It's awe-inspiring when we can see them though.

  • Mike Feb 9, 2009

    Jean, We can see them, too, here in the Ozarks, but out there in the Rockies was so totally awesome. We'll be back out there this summer if things go as planned, except part of the time we'll be even further from any significant terrestrial light source.

  • rummuser Feb 10, 2009

    You have trees and we have high rise apartment buildings plus urban lighting in the night. I however like to steal away for a drive a few miles down the highway that passes by our colony just to look at the night sky now and then.

  • Debo Hobo Feb 10, 2009

    What a bummer, the skies are really pretty back home…

    My son is in the Navy stationed in San Diego…Thank you for your service, although I think I've already said that on one of my post you commented on, but can it really be said to often I think not so Thank you again:)

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