Broadcast 379 (Special Edition)

30 Aug 2005 Chris Luginbuhl
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Chris Luginbuhl, an astronomer with the U.S. Naval Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona and expert on Dark Skies, was the guest for this Space Show program. Dark Skies or the use of star friendly lighting was the main theme and discussion subject for this program. We discussed the need for star friendly lighting, why people other than astronomers should care about it, and how to go about working for Dark Sky policies in city building codes. Mr. Luginbuhl directed us to the International Dark-Sky Association at www.darksky.org, also the Flagstaff Dark Skies Coalition (http://www.infomagic.net/fdsc/ ) as Flagstaff is perhaps the leading Dark Sky community in the country, as well as a presentation Chris made regarding the subject (http://www.infomagic.net/fdsc/ff/ff.html). We are also directed to his home page at http://ftp.nofs.navy.mil/about_NOFS/staff/cbl/. In response to listener questions, Mr. Luginbuhl not only spoke about Dark Sky policies in America, the impact of them on observatories around the country, but also in other parts of the world and such as Chile. We also discussed his view and that of many astronomers regarding keeping the Hubble Space Telescope operating, the James Webb Infrared Telescope which will soon be in orbit, and the effectiveness of adaptive optic telescopes for viewing from the Earth. Mr. Luginbuhl was asked about speaking before town meetings to help get Dark Sky policies passed, he spoke about poetry and literature and their relationship to seeing a true dark sky which resulted in a listener sending in his own poem to be read on the show. In response to another question, he commented on the relationship of seeing a true dark sky to having an effective space program for the nation. This is a most interesting program despite some audio problems, especially toward the end of the program. We should all learn about Dark Sky programs and strive to use star friendly lighting whenever possible both in residential and commercial uses. You will certainly want to hear this program to learn more about the subject and how we can be active in promoting star friendly lighting. Chris Luginbuhl can be reached by email through the websites listed above and through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

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