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Why light pollution matters

As you head outdoors this weekend to watch the annual Perseid meteor shower, compare the starry sky you see (assuming skies are clear) with this photo of the night sky at Yellowstone Park in northwest Wyoming.

The difference is light pollution. We have it. They don't. Just as trash obscures the beauty of our landscape, and air pollution obscures the view through our air, light pollution - unshielded electric lighting that is needlessly projected up instead of down where it's needed - obscures that night sky, and nearly all the stars and planets and the Milky Way that our ancestors knew so well.

It's our heritage, and it's been stolen from us. For more information, click here.

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The Perseid shower has actually already begun, although the peak won't arrive duntil 1 a.m. Monday morning. Here is a gallery of Perseid photos that have already come in. Watch the gallery site for more. You can read more here. Here's the Saturday Sun story with more on the meteor shower.

And, if you do go out to watch the shower, come back here afterwards and let us know what you saw. Share the experience with those poor slackers who slept in.

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