Skyglow across the Great Lakes
Once barely visible, the glow of
distant city lights is rapidly engulfing the skies above the Great
Lakes, shrouding once-unspoiled views of the heavens with a canopy of
lifeless pallor typical of runaway energy waste and cavalier city
These photos were taken around midnight in Wisconsin's Door County
peninsula, on the shores of Lake Michigan.
The first image is 8 miles north of Sturgeon Bay facing south. The
amber glow to the left is Sodium Vapor light from around Green Bay (and
onward toward the Milwaukee-Chicago Light Pollution corridor) while the
blue-white glow to the right is mostly Metal Halide light from Sturgeon
Bay. The remaining photos are East and Northeast of that position
looking across the lake toward Michigan.
Satellite image of Lake Michigan
(right) courtesy of Defense Meteorological
All others © 2004 Patric
Johnstone. Non-commercial use permitted with proper attribution.
Skyglow is the scattering of
light from reflected or misdirected light, often appearing as a
flattened, glowing dome over metropolitan areas or improperly-lit
facilities in rural areas (such as gas stations or ball fields).
Often the product of reflection
from over-lighted surfaces, Skyglow is mostly caused by poor fixture
design or bad installation. Commercial lighting high in glare is
often a culprit, as are many streetlights
that lack shielding or glare
Read about Skyglow -- links to other sites:
<>Why do blue-ish light
(like Mercury Vapor and Metal Halide) scatter (and pollute) more than
warmer colors (like Sodium and incandescent)?
What Blue Skies
Tell Us About Light Pollution