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I'm devastated


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I've loved astronomy my whole life. If anybody here as ever been under a truly dark sky and witnessed the Milky Way Galaxy in all its glory, you might have an idea why somebody can get hooked on the hobby.

When I was 19 years old (the year Dukes came out) I bought property that I eventually built a house on. I still live there. The skies are very dark....an astronomers paradise. For a third of a century I've enjoyed my hobby under the best skies imaginable for my area.

When I bought the property I only had one neighbor. Today I still have the same neighbor and they're like family to me.

Two days ago they put up a street light. Not only that but they put it up in the worst possible location. This means that a third of a century of living under a beautiful night sky is over. I know this might not seem like a big deal to non-astronomers but it's devastating to me. I feel like I've lost my best friend.

I haven't discussed this with them and probably won't. I'm sure they never gave my astronomy hobby any thought when they put it up. Besides, it's their place and they're free to do what they want. Not only that but we haven't had a disagreement in 33 years so why start now. Still, I'm devastated and in mourning for my precious dark skies.

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Count yourself fortunate, Roger. I grew up in the city, in Southern California. We were lucky if we could count 7 stars on a good night. We had to head up into the hills for good stargazing and to watch the meteor showers. There's still light pollution where I live now, but we can see plenty more stars. I find myself looking to the heavens more often now. :D

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It sounds like your neighbors had no idea that putting up a street light would adversely affect you, and would probably be mortified if they thought they'd ruined your hobby. I'm sure some kind of compromise can be reached - maybe you can ask them to turn it off when there's something interesting happening in the sky. Alternatively, it might be possible to fit a deflector. I found an article about an astronomer who had the same problem here in Ireland:

Dealing with Streetlights

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Roger I am so sorry you are this upset and having this problem. I know very little about astronomy - most I know is to fear the full moon in knowing that a week before and to the full moon the kids at the day care I work at begin to act up a lot more than normal and can get a bit more stressful. But do know how important hobbies can be and would be equally upset if someone ruined my writing...though my own muse has seemed to do that for me.

I hope you can get this all worked out for you.

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Thanks for the sympathy you three.

You're right Hoss. Light deflectors help but only so much. In this case it would still be a big problem even if they did put one on.

My best hope is that the light is on a circuit breaker and can be turned off. My guess is that it is since they installed it themselves. Around here if you have the electric company put a street light in you can't turn it off but that's not what they did.

This means that whenever I want to get my telescope out I'll have to pester them. I hate to be a pest to anybody, especially good neighbors like them who I love and respect so much. I guess that's what I'm going to have to do though.

So I guess there are still great backyard astronomy nights in my future. They just got a little more complicated.

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Hi Roger, I always lived on my farm and I have many nights watching the skies, only with my eyes. It's gorgeous and haunting and more if you lie in the cool summer boil.

Also did something similar to his own, to 4 km station built a large toll on important route, nothing was the same, by the bright lights and noise pollution, no more peace in my nights.

Well, in my case is in progress and is appropriate for safety, I regret what happened. hug.

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I don't know about streetlights in other areas but the ones around here are put on timers at the power company so that all of the ones in the area come on at the same time. Its not an easy matter of just asking a neighbor to turn theirs off for a few hours. I am surprised that the company didn't have the neighbors to sign off saying that you didn't care about the placement of the new light.

For me, I've always lived out in the boonies and there is nothing like watching the night sky away from the city lights. I'd be bummed too if someone took my sky away.

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I do know that the light is on a circuit breaker so I will be able to ask them to turn it off. It's just a matter of bothering them. They've been such good neighbors I hate to be a bother but I guess I'll have no choice. Thankfully they're our only neighbor and I'll never have to worry about any more lights since we own the property across the road and I'll never sell it.

HI DAISYMAE!

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