This week, a re-broadcast of one of our favourite episodes: Terra Informa at night! Listen in for stories about light pollution and sustainable lighting, life on other planets and night photography, plus the beauty of wandering outside at night. We recorded this on-site last November, outside the Telus World of Science Observatory, and the Queen Elizabeth II Planetarium in Coronation Park, Edmonton, Alberta.
Light Pollution/Sustainable Lighting
Star light, star bright. What is night without darkness? As cities grow bigger, our nights grow brighter.What is light pollution? How are industry and municipality incorporating light efficient design? Kathryn Lennon spoke with Alan Luck, Energy Engineer at Shell’s Scotford Upgrader, in Strathcona County, Alberta, and Sherrilyn Jahrig, Director of Light Efficient Communities and Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve Coordinator for the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.
The Fermi Paradox i.e. Counting the little green men & big blue planets
Paul Gilster enjoys one of the most unlikely of day jobs: writing full-time on the science of space travel as the lead journalist for the Tau Zero Foundation. You can find his nearly daily updates on the website Centauri Dreams. Trevor Chow-Fraser got in touch with Paul to help us understand one of the central mysteries of outer space, the question we’ve all had at some point when looking up at the stars—are we alone in the big vast universe? Or, is there life up there in the stars? And if so, well why the heck haven’t they come calling? That’s the question scientists call the Fermi Paradox.
To get a sense of the wonder of being outside at night, we called photographer Yuichi Takasaka in Lumby, BC. His pictures of wildlife and the night sky helped build momentum to declare Jasper National Park a designated dark sky reserve. Takasaka is also one of the photographers behind The World at Night, a collaborative international effort to capture the night sky.
Another night-related link:
“To bring awareness to night vision problems, the Canadian Association of Optometrists has launched a campaign called “Drive Away the Glare.” You can visit the accompanying website to check the status of how well you see at night”.