Light Pollution: Affecting Present and Future Astronomers

This is a cartoon I created showing how light pollution is not just a problem for professional astronomers.

This is a cartoon I created showing how light pollution is not just a problem for professional astronomers.

Astronomers, professional and amateur, are making observations of stars and galaxies everyday, but how much will they be able to see? Light pollution is making it harder and harder for astronomers to do their job, observe! Today we are creating large amounts of light pollution in the world and it isn’t so easy to find a place where there is low enough light pollution to observe with as much accuracy as possible. This bothers astronomers! A lot! If only they could have a place closer to home to do their observing.  Continue reading

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All That Glitters Is Not Gold

 

Light pollution on the highway.

Light pollution on the highway.

 

Light pollution, the colorful and pretty undertone you may see some nights when you gaze at the  night sky. It’s what has created the night skyline that many have fallen in love with and created the biggest problem for astronomers. Many may think that this display adorns the night sky with grace, but in reality it mask the true beauty, the stars. Everything that’s beautiful isn’t good or beneficial.

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Astronomy in the Works

This is a painting of the cloudy night sky. The only night you could see some stars.

This is a painting of the cloudy night sky. The only night you could see some stars.

For a week, two of my classmates and I have studied certain aspects about the universe and the Earth for a citizen science project. Our project was to classify galaxies based on a picture shown to us, and contribute knowledge of how much light pollution surrounds our area by sending in pictures of the night sky and our location. By day we classified galaxies, and by night we took pictures of the starry sky. Continue reading

The World at Night

A spiral galaxy drawing I did in my field notebook.

A spiral galaxy drawing I did in my field notebook.

There are billions of galaxies out there, and our galaxy, seemingly so big, is just one of the many. A galaxy is a system of millions or even billions of stars that are all held together by gravitational attraction. There are three different categories of galaxies: spiral, which is what our galaxy is, has long arms that wind towards the bulge that’s at the center ; elliptical, which is just all bulge with no disk or spirals; and irregulars, that have no apparent features or way of categorizing them otherwise. So how come we can’t see all these stars and galaxies in our backyard? Continue reading