Carolyn Collins Petersen
About.com Space / Astronomy
Have you ever heard of light pollution? It's the overuse of light at night. Nearly everyone on Earth has experienced it. Cities are bathed in light, but lights also encroach on the wilderness and rural landscapes as well. The International Dark-Sky Association is a leading authority on light pollution, its causes, and ways to reduce it while preserving safety and security. Check out their Web site, and their video "Losing the Dark", available to watch on Youtube and Vimeo, and downloadable for educators, planetariums, and other outreach professionals.
Check out some great sky sights in July! Start out with the planets Mars and Saturn, not far from the stars Spica and Antares, respectively. (Click on the title to get a bigger version of the star chart.) Antares lies in the plane of the Milky Way and if you direct your gaze to this area, you'll find many star clusters and nebulae to explore!