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A menace to Astronomers and now a "Statutory Nuisance"
The term "light pollution" means unnecessary or inappropriate lighting, usually in combination with muck in the air which results in the sky being less BLACK than it should be. When you're trying to make astronomical observations, what you can really do without is smog lit up by bad lighting causing a haze of mankiness where there should rightly be clear darkness. Stars should be seen, not murk.
Astronomers will go on about this at some considerable length, and there are some truly impressive photographs of BAD LIGHTING online. I've included a few links to some of these well-written and spectacularly photographed features.
www.lightpollution.it and www.lightpollution.it/indexen.html
Also see www.lightpollution.it/worldatlas/pages/fig1.htm and www.lightpollution.it/cinzano/memorie/index.htm
It's worth pointing out that astronomers aren't at war against lighting, and the main objects of criticism are bad lighting. It's also quite rare to hear of astronomers taking direct action by shooting out the lights. Campaigning against bad lighting does some good, but it is a bit like trying to save animals of endangered species while some other people are still eating them.
There are still some places on earth with an impressively dark sky, but these are generally further away from civilisation than a year ago, and that's generally true year-on-year. The flipside of this is that people are increasingly likely to be impressed when you show them the night sky somewhere it's reasonably dark, as many people have never really seen the night sky! See basic astronomy
The International Astronomy Union does some good in campaigning against light pollution. Well done to them! Although I don't agree with their Pluto demoting, I believe they do some good with campaigning against the celestial murk.
Last checked 2012/07/28 and found no Bad Links