A newly-conducted study shows national park visitors appreciate the nighttime sky, as they require less light pollution. They have urged park managers to minimize the latter.
Man-made lights also affect animals and plants, besides humans, who actually seek the natural beauty the constellations provide at nighttime.
The director of the Park Studies Laboratory at the University of Vermont, Bob Manning, reports that the night skies-related environment can be improved, as progress can be made further on. He states that
“unlike a lot of other environmental problems, light pollution is reversible.”
The survey suggests that those who like traveling and are enthusiastic about national parks admire the most the starry night sky, unpolluted via artificial light.
Scientific circles have estimated that 99 percent of the Earth’s sky is polluted by artificial light. 15 years ago, Americans didn’t have the same splendid view of the cosmos from their homes.
Many of those who visit national parks at night do so to admire the glittering stars that fill up the sky. In accordance to this, the National Park Service decided to take a course of action. For the last 10 years, the Natural Sounds and Night Sky Division has been working on improving acoustical and night sky ecosystems.
Manning explained that it wasn’t impossible to keep artificial light from surrounding nearby park areas, however it would pose a challenge.
He continued by saying that tourism is a key factor in this issue, and that the park service could eventually gain control over what’s happening outside the park.
Moreover, Manning was the leader of two surveys, whose responses were concise. Hundreds of people were surveyed, as they agreed that admiring the night sky in a specific park was truly important to them.
The poll respondents said that their experience in the park was improved, as they witnessed natural light sources, including the stars, the moon and constellations. What they wanted was to see the Milky Way as clearly as possible.
However, when they were asked about man-made lighting, they said their overall experience was changed in a negative way. These artificial light sources included streetlights, headlights and lights coming from nearby cities.
Thus, light pollution in parks can also be relatively solvable and avoided if people would stop using headlamps or flashlights during their visits to the parks. It’s small gestures like these that could make a difference.
According to the empirical evidence pointed out by the survey, Manning said that
“visitors are becoming much more attuned to natural quiet and natural darkness.”
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