May / June 2019 Newsletter
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Dark Sky Meeting - Light Pollution Conference
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Light pollution conference at CMU -Tepper Quad Conference Room, Simmons Auditorium B.
Free, open to the public.
Join us to learn about the consequences of indiscriminate, obtrusive, unwanted, artificial light at night. Research on the effects of low levels of light on the nighttime ecosystem is exposing negative impacts on plants and animals.Light pollution impacts astronomical research. The wasted energy of sending light into the sky contributes to anthropogenic global warming. The inability of 80% of the population in the US to see a clear night full of stars may have far-reaching consequences that are as yet difficult to quantify.
CMU researchers are using drones to record light pollution before, during, and after installation of 40,000 new LED streetlights to measure their dark-sky effect. Cities around the world have already installed LED streetlights because of the great energy and maintenance savings, yet many citizens have not been happy with the results. Issues of light coloration and lumen intensity have raised health and circadian rhythm concerns, as well as safety issues due to increased light levels and glare. To achieve best-practices for both nighttime visibility and dark-sky concerns, the City will be installing shielded streetlights with temperatures of no more than 2700K.
Use of a fleet of off-the-shelf drones (Mavic 2 Pro) and a free iPhone app to control the flight path for photography will allow other cities to follow our simple procedure. The nighttime maps of the city (all 55 square miles) will be uploaded to the public site Burgh’s Eye View. We are coordinating volunteers through IDAPgh.org, the Pittsburgh section of the International Dark-sky Association.
The conference will consider the human medical effects of artificial light at night, disruption on the nighttime ecosystem, safety issues, and impact on astronomical research.
CMU School of Architecture
CMU Physics Department
Dr. Kisslinger's Outreach Program
Dr. Leonard Kisslinger's outreach program helps middle schoolers with their projects for the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science. It's been going on for decades in the heart of Pittsburgh. The Physics Concepts video will be aired on WQED on Saturday May 25 at 10 p.m. in the program Filmmakers Corner.