Resources for urban stargazers

Join the fight against light pollution, and get involved in an urban astronomy club.
By | Published: December 4, 2006 | Last updated on May 18, 2023
North American light pollution
This image shows North America’s light pollution.
P. Cinzano/F. Falchi (Univ of Padova)/C. D. Elvidge (NOAA NG Data Center)
The late Janet Mattei, director of the American Association of Variable Star Observers, once gave me this good advice that I would like to pass along: “Even if your observing site isn’t the best, make the best of your observing site.” Sure, we would all like to have a dark sky right outside our backdoors. But that isn’t always possible.

The odds say 5 out of 7 clear nights take place during the week. Rather than turn your back on what you do have, waiting instead for a clear weekend night when you can escape the city for the country, make the best of what you have at hand. You just might be surprised at what can be seen with a little diligence and perseverance.

Visit these web sites if you are interested in learning more about the problem of light pollution, its causes and cures, as well as recommended objects for urban stargazers.

  • International Dark Sky Association
  • Dark Sky Society
  • Sensible & Efficient Lighting to Enhance the Nighttime Environment
  • Thesis about energy and economic consequences of light pollution
  • Visit these sites to find an astronomy club and dark-sky observing site near you.

  • Astronomical League Urban Club
  • Local astronomy clubs
  • Observing sites