5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Timely book on an important subject,
By A Customer
This review is from: Light Pollution: Responses and Remedies (Patrick Moore's Practical Astronomy Series) (Paperback)
Light pollution is -- or should be -- a concern of astronomers throughout the inhabited regions of the Earth. This is, to my best knowledge, the first book to directly address those concerns in detail.
The book is in three sections plus copious appendices and an index. The first section discusses the physiology of human vision, defines the nature and consequences (not only astronomical) of light pollution, and considers changes in attitude to and technology of lighting. This serves as an excellent introduction to the problem.
The second section shows how astronomy may be continued, despite light pollution, by technological 'fixes', such as light pollution reduction (LPR) filters and CCD imaging. One hundred objects suitable for visual observation from light-polluted skies are suggested and described. Techniques of observation in light-polluted skies are also suggested. It is this section of the book that is most likely to be criticised by those concerned that it may imply that, since astronomy in light-polluted skies is possible, the problem itself is not as great as activists suggest. I would suggest that it is only by showing people
what is visible in these skies that an interest in astronomy can be established and maintained, thus leading to (hopefully) a will to address the problem.
In the final section, the book discusses remedies; briefly these are technological (good lighting), legal (legislation to control poor lighting), and social (educating people as to the problem). The appendices that follow provide good material (including the debunking of common lighting myths) for anyone who wishes to involve him (or her) self in combating this source of aesthetic degradation.
Obviously, this book will be of great use as a 'handbook' for anyone involved in the activities of the Campaign for Dark Skies (CfDS) or the International Dark-sky Association (IDA), but its appeal is wider than that. It is also useful for those who undertake astronomy under brightly-lit skies, both as a guide to what may be achieved, but also with suggestions as to how such astronomers may help to have their skies improved. There is a slight UK emphasis, but the book has international appeal.
Shining through the lively style of the very well-written text is the author's passion for astronomy in general and his knowledge gained over many years as co-ordinator of the CfDS. The copious photographs, most of which are in colour, serve to enhance the text.
In short, this is a very good book, which is very readable, covering a subject of importance. Recommended!
(2 customer reviews)