11 April 2012 (Wednesday) - Light Pollution

As I walked across the car park this evening I saw Venus bright in the sky. There's not a lot of light pollution in the direction I look in as I walk to my car. And talking of which, here's something I've been saying for a few years:

Light pollution is getting so bad that it's not possible to see most of the night's stars. Most parts of the UK are unable to see two thirds of the stars visible in places like where we have the astro club (we didn't pick it at random, you know...)
But we knew that anyway - didn't we? I've certainly been ranting about this for some time. It seems odd to me that well-known established facts are presented as "news". I suppose it's a sad reflection of our times that few people actually go out to look at the glory of the night sky these days, and those that do venture abroad after dark are more concerned that there be a decent amount of illumination so that they don't get mugged.
Amazingly some twit on the news this evening tried to claim that cars are more likely to break down in unlit areas.
And talking of spacey things, it would seem that a (relatively) nearby star has more planets than our sun does. The star HD10180 has (at least) one more planet than our Sun, if you don't count Pluto. It's quite amazing that we can detect planets round other starts really. It's something I never expected to see in my lifetime. I wonder how long it will be before we actually send people to them...

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