Last one out
of town shut the lights off!|
satellite view shows the distribution of
nighttime lights across Montana. Can you
identify the seven cities that have AA high
schools (Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Missoula,
Kalispell, Helena, Great Falls)? Perhaps you
can pick out several smaller communities as
well. CLICK HERE to see a recent image of the USA at Night.
Darkness can be a good thing. . .
The image was provided by the
International Dark-Sky Association. The IDA is
an organization dedicated to building an
awareness light pollution and helping people
understand the importance of investing in
certain types of lights for outdoor lighting. One
reason that the IDA works to promote
nighttime darkness is that darker skies make
it much easier to view celestial bodies. Even
in a state as sparsely populated as Montana
both the quantity and quality of what can be
seen in the nighttime sky depends on where
you are. For instance, someone in Billings
will not be able to view auroras or stars nearly
as well as someone in Jordan (J). The IDA
strives to preserve dark skies in order to
enhance viewing of the nighttime sky for
everyone, and it believes that one key is for
cities like Billings to select types of outdoor
lights that minimize light pollution.
Centers . . .
(L) is the geographic center of the state,
Helena (H) seems fairly well-centered among
Montana's larger cities. The "middle of
nowhere" distinction would have to go to
Jordan (J), a speck of light in the center of
eastern Montana surrounded by miles of
Example of Urban Sprawl . . .
Notice the area extending south from
Missoula (M). This line of lights marks the
location of the Bitterroot Valley. Lolo, Florence,
Victor, Stevensville, Corvallis, Hamilton, and
Darby are all located in this rapidly growing
valley. If you think the Bitterroot Valley is bright,
check out other parts of the USA by clicking on
the Hot Link below.
Term: urban sprawl