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Preserving Our Night Sky in Winter Park - by Ron Owens

One of the many joys we share living in the Winter Park area are our dazzling night skies. Free from the nighttime light pollution of city lights our night sky faithfully explodes into galaxies of endless glittering stars. Indians who lived in our mountains for generations placed such importance on the night sky that many stories were told of its importance. When all the stars were ready to be placed in the sky First Woman said, I will use these to write the laws that are to govern mankind for all time. These laws cannot be written on the water as that is always changing its form, nor can they be written in the sand as the wind would soon erase them, but if they are written in the stars they can be read and remembered forever.(The Sun, Moon and Stars: By adopting a few commonsense ideas we can do our part to insure that our night sky continues to amaze, entertain and teach us for generations to come. Please give some thought to embracing the following ideas: Put outside lights on a motion detector with an on-time of 6-10 minutes. This will provide the element of security you are seeking and will keep light pollution to a minimum. Of course there will times when you need to keep outside lights on for longer periods of time, such as when you are entertaining, cooking outside, holiday seasons etc. Do not leave on outdoor security lights when you are not home or away. See motion detectors above. Use low-wattage light bulbs - 60 watts, or less, for all outdoor light fixtures. Direct outside lights to focus downward rather than up. Choose light fixtures with opaque glass rather than clear glass.. FOOD FOR THOUGHT:Due to nighttime light pollution, it has been estimated that two-thirds of Americans can no longer see the Milky Way from their backyards. History Channel: Modern Marvels, Night Education (2008), Episode 672

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