Light dims the stars;Talkback

4th June 1999 at 01:00
What a pity that David Newnham and Ted Wragg ("The Big Picture", Friday magazine, May 14), who found so much to interest them in the pattern of light thrown up from our cities by night, failed to mention that this is the very waste light that has so insidiously taken the starry sky away from us over the past 50 years.

One of the great ironies in modern education is that the Government which tells us that all children should be taught in a compulsory national curriculum about "the wider Universe" has done so little to remove light pollution from our night skies, and will not brand light a possible nuisance or pollutant.

Pretty patterns indeed for those aliens approaching Earth: a veil over the starry heavens for today's children, most of whom have never seen the Milky Way or most of the 3,000 stars enjoyed by their ancestors for the past 3 million years. Light pollution is the sad light show we all pay for.

Bob Mizon operates a schools' planetarium and is co-ordinator of the British Astronomical Association's Campaign for Dark Skies

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