Earth’s Space Cousin, genomics, lead and roses. No, these aren’t the bands playing at a music festival. These are the eclectic science news stories in this edition of SciNews. Continue reading
Why should a municipality be concerned about light pollution?
Properly designed lighting creates no more light than necessary and puts the light where it is needed to improve human seeing. Badly designed lighting creates extra light that is a waste product and pollutant.
Polluting light interferes with human seeing, is a health hazard for humans and other organisms, is a waste of energy, and ruins our view of one of the great natural wonders – the night sky.
What a can a municipality do to minimize light pollution?
Establish reasonable requirements for lighting installations. (http://www.rasc.ca/lpa/bylaws/sample)
Require a ‘lighting plan’ for all new lighting installations. Computer programs exist that can predict light levels based on the physical plan and type of fixtures.
Require ‘full cutoff’ light fixtures that direct the light where it is useful for seeing.
Minimize glare by eliminating direct view of light sources (e.g., require alternatives to ‘wall pack’ fixtures).
Institute a curfew on commercial lighting so that commercial premises and signs are not illuminated when there is no one to see them.
Set reasonable light levels for street lighting. Use dimmable light fixtures so that street lighting levels can be reduced, especially at late hours.
Set reasonable maximum allowed light levels for other facilities, such as plazas, parking lots, gas stations, and car dealerships.
Designate certain park areas as ‘dark sky friendly’ by careful control over light levels and glare.
Establish limits on light trespass so that the glare (luminance) or light level (illuminance) from an adjacent source cannot have an effect on private property.
Establish a program to measure and document light levels (both luminance and illuminance) throughout the municipality.
Lighting without an observer is completely ineffective. Require security lighting to be motion activated and accompanied by human or video surveillance.
Chair, Subcommittee on Light Pollution, Royal Astronomical Society
Vinegar may have a powerful smell, but did you know it’s actually a weak acid? In the chemical economy, acids actively give away their protons while bases actively collect them — but some more aggressively than others. George Zaidan and Charles Morton use the currency of subatomic particles to explain this unseen exchange.
Lesson by George Zaidan and Charles Morton, animation by Karrot Animation
Contributed by: Tara Webb
Grade 7: Life Systems
… Making our own little bit of paradise
- Ecosystems are made up of biotic (living) and abiotic (non-living) elements, which depend on each other to survive.
A compilation of photos of the tiny celestial object, 7.5 billion kilometres away from Earth, as well as footage of NASA headquarters on the day the probe passed Pluto
Source: The Globe and Mail
Every July 1, Canadians across the country set up their lawn chairs and tilt back their heads to watch colours dance and explode above their own backyards. But who makes sure those fireworks are safe? Leah Gerber visited the Canadian Explosives Research Lab in Ottawa, Ontario to find out more about how the nation’s fireworks are tested for the big day.
Tom Wujec from Autodesk presents some surprisingly deep research into the “marshmallow problem” — a simple team-building exercise that involves dry spaghetti, one yard of tape and a marshmallow. Who can build the tallest tower with these ingredients? And why does a surprising group always beat the average? Continue reading
Biological Clock, the latest from pluto, redefining the kilogram, rising sea levels and so much more. This eclectic collection of current science news stories is brought to you by STAOBlog.