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 planning. 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.

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Green Bay (l) and Sturgeon Bay (r) WI.
Lake Michigan Light Pollution
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Charlevoix, Michigan as seen from Wisconsin.

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Another view of Traverse City MI from WI.
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Traverse City, Manistee and Ludington seen from across the lake.
Satellite image of Lake Michigan (right) courtesy of  Defense Meteorological Satellite Program
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 control.
 

Read about  Skyglow --  links to other sites:

<>Why do blue-ish light sources (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



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