Wednesday, February 21, 2024

How does a small Japanese town maintain its dark skies? | Science


Due to the modern lifestyle leading to uncontrolled artificial lighting, the phenomenon of light pollution has invaded the skies of cities and hidden the twinkling stars from the inhabitants of the earth. The evils of light pollution do not stop there. At this point, rather, its impact on human life and security goes beyond, as well as other species, it is related to her biological clock and migration.

In an effort by several international organizations, such as the International Astronomical Union and the American Union, to find the necessary solutions, Japanese residents created a unique solution of their own, turning their remote city into an extinguished candle of hope amid the suffocating light. .

Bisei City, in the southwestern part of Okayama Prefecture, Japan, has several astronomical observatories and observatories, including the 40-inch Bisei Astronomical Observatory, which operates year-round and needs urgent protection. The city's skies from any light pollution, local people still maintain traditions to prevent damage to their city's sky.

In 1989, the city passed strict laws regarding light pollution, making it the first local government in the country to pass such laws. A collaboration between the city government and the Panasonic Observatory stipulated the creation of a dark, sky-friendly area and all. The city's public lighting will be replaced with LED lights with a temperature of 3000 Kelvin or less.

The Boulder scale is a standard used to estimate the amount of light pollution in the sky (websites).

The horrors of pollution

Although the city dwellers keep to their traditions, they still face the threat of light pollution from other cities in the region. Very bright, high-temperature lamps are still in use in neighboring cities.

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Japanese astronomers Ryosuke Itoh and Sayota Maino spent the last few years at the Bessie Observatory between 2006 and 2023 monitoring the extent to which vision has been affected. Both scientists used a specially equipped device to measure the brightness of the sky. Photometric value of sky brightness.

The results show that the city of Bessie has a brightness level on the board scale of the fourth group, and the board scale is a standard used to evaluate the level of light pollution in the sky, meaning that the city is located transparently. Depending on the size of rural areas, this is a clear indication of the efficiency of the use of lighting.” Alternatively, LEDs with a lower color temperature.

Nadia Barnett
Nadia Barnett
"Award-winning beer geek. Extreme coffeeaholic. Introvert. Avid travel specialist. Hipster-friendly communicator."

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