Friends of the Zeiss Public Statement For
Telephone: 412-561-7876 By Glenn A. Walsh:
Electronic Mail: < email@example.com > New Casino Lighting &
Internet Web Site: < http://www.planetarium.cc >
2007 May 1
afternoon, I am Glenn A. Walsh of
Last month, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that Carnegie Science Center Director Joanna Haas testified to you that lighting from the new casino could eliminate
ability to use the
observing within the City of
Telescope, with a new lens that partially screens-out light-pollution.
Light-pollution denies people in the city and environs the ability to see a major part of nature: the dimmer stars and other celestial objects in the night sky. As the classic
constellation star pictures we inherited from our ancestors are composed of both bright stars and dim stars, it is becoming increasingly difficult for people in cities
and metropolitan areas to see the dimmer stars, and hence, make-out the constellations, which our ancestors had no problems seeing. This is robbing newer generations
the ability to see this part of nature, which is just as important as the loss of wetlands and other wild ecosystems.
by the naked-eye. And, this impact on naked-eye observing would be at its worst at the current
to carefully use lighting for the new casino that
does not scatter extraneous light into the sky. However, I do believe that the
exaggerating when they claim that the telescopes at their astronomical observatory would become unusable following construction of the new casino.
When the general public viewed objects with a telescope at the original Buhl Planetarium, during our Friday evening public observing sessions in the 1980s and
early 1990s, they were primarily interested in seeing bright objects such as the Moon, planets, and bright stars. Even being in the middle of the city, with Three Rivers
Stadium only a few blocks away, there was never a light-pollution problem showing the public the Moon, planets, and the brighter stars with Buhl Planetarium telescopes.
Since the Observatory at the original Buhl Planetarium was only open to the public one evening each week, we also had an active daytime public observing program.
Weather-permitting, we would use a large projection screen to show visitors dark areas on the surface of the Sun called sunspots. And, if the sky was clear enough
in the daytime, we could also allow the public to look through the telescope to see the Moon, the planets Mercury, Venus—with phase, Mars, and
Jupiter—with cloud belts, and some of the brightest stars—to “third magnitude” in brightness. Yes, with a clear sky and a good telescope, you can see planets
and stars in the daytime—and at the original Buhl Planetarium Observatory we did this routinely !!!
Light-pollution is a major problem today, which inhibits naked-eye views of an important part of nature, in cities and metropolitan areas. And, lighting from a
casino could greatly impact naked-eye
observing from the
could eliminate use of the telescopes at their astronomical observatory is an exaggeration.
NEWS: Planetarium, Astronomy, Space, Science: