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Resource Guides

Dark Skies and Light Pollution

A Resource Guide

[with a section on Radio Interference]

by Andrew Fraknoi (Fromm Institute, U of San Francisco)
Version 5.1; Jan 2021

© copyright 2021 by Andrew Fraknoi.  Permission to use for any non-profit educational purpose is hereby granted.  For any other use, contact the author at: fraknoi {at} fhda {dot} edu

The World at Night (from Satellite Imaging)
The World at Night (from Satellite Imaging)

About this guide

These days, as human civilization and electric lights spread across the globe, few places on Earth remain truly dark. For astronomers, trying to collect the faint light of distant objects, this “light pollution” from human activity has become a serious problem. Some of our light fixtures are worse than others in terms of the glare and wasted light they produce and the number of colors (wavelengths) they block from celestial objects. Recently, swarms of satellites in low orbit through which commercial companies are competing to provide internet service have also begun to interfere with astronomical observations.  In this introductory guide, we list a selection of the resources that describe the efforts of astronomers and environmentalists to educate policy makers and the public about light pollution (and also, in a separate section, the crowding of radio channels needed for astronomy.)