For the past three-four months, I have been staying in a newly developed area of Bangalore. And during this period, I have not seen a single star. Sounds too dramatic? Something that is said just for effects? But this is true.
Actually I, too, had not noticed this. Then a few weeks ago, a message made rounds on the social media, ‘Tonight, the moon and its star,Alfa touri or Alde baran (locally, we call it Star Rohini) would be closest possible to each other. So don’t forget to see this.’ At night, I watched the sky curiously; I did see the moon, but no sign of Alfa tauri. Then my son pointed out, haven’t you realized it, no stars are seen, at least not in this part of the city sky.
Well, that was true. I tried to keep a watch and see if any stars are seen. I couldn’t find a single. The sky could be cloudy sometimes or may be hazy on few other days, but for all four months?!
This is what the air pollution and smog are doing to our skies. I know this is a little bit of deviation from out topic of #DarknessForStars and light pollution. But even when there is darkness (due to frequent power failures), the sky still remains bleak, dull gray — and blank, totally devoid of any specks of twinkling light.
Agreed, there is an excess of bright light around, especially in the cities. Added to that, every person is attracted, like pins to a magnet, to various ‘enlightened’ screens — be it a mobile, a computer screen or a television screen. So majority of the population has neither time nor inclination to have a look outside to find out what is there in our surroundings, leave alone bother about the far off skies.
Even when people step outside, there are innumerable glittering things around to arrest their attention; so star-gazing is a thing of past. (Or may be it has acquired a new meaning in the new world of metropolises).
So along with the light pollution caused by numerous bright lights, neon signs reflecting to create a sky-glow, we also have to consider the curtain of air pollution / smog that seems to have swallowed up our shiny friends up there. It appears that we have created an additional layer of atmosphere that has blotted out the glittering specks in the sky. The new-age tiny-tots wouldn’t even know the meaning of their nursery rhyme ‘Twinkle twinkle little star….’
This post is written in response to IndiSpire Edition 164: #DarknessForStars
[Despite the light around us in cities, we cannot see the most beautiful wonders of all- A glittered night sky. What are your views on light pollution, and memories of those wonderful starry nights? #DarknessForStars ]