Nantucket Residents Study Night Sky For Potential Light Pollution Increase


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NANTUCKET, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — One of the most precious resources of Nantucket, its clear night sky for stargazing, may be more diluted now than in years' past.

Studies from non-profit Nantucket Lights, Inc. show that light pollution in Nantucket has increased at least 20 percent over the last decade, with a 2.4 percent increase each year between 2012 and 2020. NL's light pollution map shows heavy concentrations centered around The Creeks, Lily Pond, and Monomoy.

The Bortle Scale shows the clarity quality spectrum of the night's sky, ranging nine levels from high light pollution "inner city skies" to low "excellent dark sky site."

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WBZ's Kim Tunnicliffe spoke to Nantucket residents to see if they have noticed any difference when staring at the stars.

"Our walk to the beach used to be completely in darkness except for the moon. Now, there are big houses that are kept lit up when no one's even in them," said one resident named Sue.

Another resident named Adam says he's seen the clear sky take a little dip in quality.

"We are thirty miles out at sea, we don't have the heat coming up that you have in the big cities, blocking light. But it's starting to spread here a little bit," Adam said.

NL says they have a clear mission, "We share the goal of minimizing the light pollution, energy waste, and environmental disruption that results from poor outdoor lighting."

WBZ's Kim Tunnicliffe (@KimWBZ) reports.

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