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The End of Night: Searching for Natural…
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The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial…

by Paul Bogard

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A lyrical lament to what is lost, the darkness that enables us to see and hear more deeply, to experience the falling upwards into stars, the Milky Way. It is sad to understand that for those younger than 50, they probably do not recognize their loss. ( )
  dasam | Jul 25, 2017 |
If you are an amateur astronomer or a casual sky gazer concerned about light pollution, find a copy and read this book! I started out thinking I had a pretty good grasp of the issue, but discovered that there's a lot more to this than the visibility of stars at night. A beautifully written personal account of a man trying to understand what natural darkness means, and to understand its value.

If you've never felt any particular need to gaze at the night sky, and wondered what the issue of light pollution was all about, read this book. You might be surprised by what you learn, and quite likely the word "glare" will have a very different meaning when you're done. ( )
  Thomas_Watson | Sep 13, 2016 |
If you are an amateur astronomer or a casual sky gazer concerned about light pollution, find a copy and read this book! I started out thinking I had a pretty good grasp of the issue, but discovered that there's a lot more to this than the visibility of stars at night. A beautifully written personal account of a man trying to understand what natural darkness means, and to understand its value.

If you've never felt any particular need to gaze at the night sky, and wondered what the issue of light pollution was all about, read this book. You might be surprised by what you learn, and quite likely the word "glare" will have a very different meaning when you're done. ( )
  ThomasWatson | May 30, 2016 |
Some interesting things to think about here-- "light pollution" as something you could be aware of from neighbors (and towards your neighbors too?), lighting that at least reduces the rays that don't work towards your illumination goals, the fact that the skies of your youth might now be almost impossible to find. I do remember one late night/early morning in Hawaii hearing a noise and going to the window of the hotel room and just gasping at the stars that were everywhere. Worth a read, worth some time invested in your house and your neighborhood. ( )
  ehousewright | Jan 12, 2016 |
"Tomorrow I will head to Guernsey, a bobbing diesel-churned journey, and find cobrahead fixtures, unshielded lights, the insistent roar of the motors that rule our lives. But tonight in a field on Sark, I lie staring up - and around - at the starry sky, a man on his back in a field, all but disappeared." The bibliographical references for this book are: Light pollution; Night - Psychological aspects; Lighting - Physiological aspects; and Lighting - Social aspects. Like Bryce Canyon National Park Ranger Kevin Poe observes towards the end of this book, I am one of those people that had never heard the words "light" and "pollution" in the same sentence before. Then I read this book as part of my Postal Book Club.

I vaguely remember a legal case in law school about the owner of a baseball field being sued for trespass caused by the super-bright lights shining from the field at night onto residential houses next door. That's light pollution. I also recently had to move my bedroom from one side of my house to the other after my neighbor installed (without any regard to his neighbor apparently) a super-bright motion-detecting flood light that was regularly triggered throughout the night by cats and critters causing light to flood into my bedroom and disrupt my sleep. That is also light pollution. But I have never studied the night sky or any aspect of astronomy so lots of this content was pretty new to me.

Paul Bogard approaches the subject as the Professor of Writing he is, peppering the scientific and astronomic concepts with tons of literary references in this work of narrative non-fiction. He makes his case well for why we need more night and less artificial light. I felt several times like this short book could have been even shorter, but I appreciated the passion that the author had for his subject and his writing was good. I am heading to the north Georgia mountains this weekend where I anticipate the night sky to be darker than the sky above my home in Birmingham. I will need some help to recognize any constellation other than the Big Dipper but I plan to do it. I plan to lie on my back and stare up at the sky and think about this book. I may never have happened upon this book naturally but, now that I have, I plan to stay aware and vigilant and careful to make decisions and support decisions that reduce the amount of artificial light in my world, and increase natural darkness. ( )
  kellifrobinson | May 19, 2015 |
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Epigraph
To go in the dark with a light is to know the light.
To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,
and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,
and is traveled by dark feet and dark wings.
-[[Wendell Berry]]
Dedication
To my mother and father.
And for all the life that depends on darkness.
First words
At least when it comes to light pollution, what happens in Vegas does not stay in Vagas.
The brightest beam of light on Earth shoots from the apex of the Luxor casino's black pyramid in Las Vegas, thirty-nine brilliant blended xenon lamps, each six feet tall and three feet wide (the greatest number of lamps they could fit in the space), reflecting off mirrors and marking, like a push-pin on the night map of the known world, the brightest city on earth.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316182907, Hardcover)

A deeply panoramic tour of the night, from its brightest spots to the darkest skies we have left.

A starry night is one of nature's most magical wonders. Yet in our artificially lit world, three-quarters of Americans' eyes never switch to night vision and most of us no longer experience true darkness. In THE END OF NIGHT, Paul Bogard restores our awareness of the spectacularly primal, wildly dark night sky and how it has influenced the human experience across everything from science to art.

From Las Vegas' Luxor Beam--the brightest single spot on this planet--to nights so starlit the sky looks like snow, Bogard blends personal narrative, natural history, science, and history to shed light on the importance of darkness--what we've lost, what we still have, and what we might regain--and the simple ways we can reduce the brightness of our nights tonight.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:29 -0400)

Describes how ever-present, modern artificial lights have changed the way humans experience darkness and bemoans the fact that the primal dark sky can no longer influence science and art.

» see all 3 descriptions

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