In the middle of the New Mexico desert, astronomers fume about the "light pollution" from all the sprawling cities that are gradually snaking out across the land. Even on the darkest moonless nights, the stars that used to gleam and twinkle so brilliantly look faded and dim. We who dwell in the middle of cities and suburbs rarely glance heavenward at night anymore - at least not to see stars. The lights that now illumine our nights as brightly as our days read "McDonald's," "Holiday Inn," "Casino Open," and "Twenty-Four Hour Service."
In the glare of all these high-powered night lights, it is hard to remember just how dark and frightening the hours between sunset and sunrise used to be for our ancestors. Light, whether natural or artificial, was a precious commodity. Perhaps the only place where people still tune the rhythms of their lives to the lights in the sky are those who dwell above the Arctic Circle. Despite the modern convenience of the light switch, there is no ignoring the ...
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