This week I read an article called “Pollution is endangering the future of astronomy” by Dan Garisto (https://www.sciencenews.org/article/pollution-endangering-future-astronomy?tgt=n). It mentions a few astronomers such as Harvey Liszt, who is a radio astronomer at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Charlottesville, Virginia, the late astronomer Jean Heidmann, and an astronomer at University of Michigan, Patrick Seitzer. This article focuses on something that’s slowly becoming a more dire topic: pollution. Although, not exactly the kind we’re used to hearing about.
Three main sources of pollution, space debris, light pollution, and radio interference, are causing astronomy pollution. These sources are making it more and more difficult for astronomers to get a distinct look at the sky which muddles their predictions, observation, and accuracy. According to the United States Strategic Command almost 18,000 objects are floating around the Earth’s orbit. LED lights, although long-living, energy efficient, and becoming more popular, play a large part in light pollution. Despite the economical and environmental benefits, it does admit blue-rich light, which makes astronomy harder to practice because it scatters light, making the sky less distinct, and the stars more difficult to observe.
Getting rid of all artificial light is a fight in vain, but the production of other alternatives, such as narrow-band LED, is slowly returning hope to astronomers.This article had to do with astronomical, pollution, and technological science. I chose it because pollution is getting more attention for the gargantuan problem is is, and this article presents another aspect of it not often considered. The aspect of how it influences careers, and how often-used solutions have many trade-offs.
Knowing this will help people come up with solutions that benefit at least the majority of people. Many astronomers have to deal with this complication everyday, and it’s just one of the consequences of pollution. By staying informed of all the outcomes, it can be taken care of quicker.