There can be few people who are not stirred by the sight of the twilight sky as the deep sapphire blue gives way to the velvet black of the night sky studded with myriad's of stars, punctuated by the occasional meteor as it meets its firey fate. Or the sight of the arching expanse of the milky way, our galaxy, sweeping its ghostly path across the summer sky or the infrequent apparition of a comet sweeping across the night sky waving its gossamer-like tail on its journey across our skies.
Few people in our modern world can share the experience of our ancestors for whom the night sky provided inspiration, religiously, artistically and more latterly, scientifically. The natural splendour of the night sky is now largely denied to us by the insidious encroachment of light pollution over our towns and cities.
A generation ago, the night sky was largely unspoilt and many of our parents and grand-parents can describe a night time scene of cold crisp winter nights with stars studding the night sky. Over the last 50 years the growth of street lighting, floodlighting and commercial lighting have blotted the natural beauty of the night sky from our environment.
This is an environmental curse that is acknowledged to be wasteful, unnecessary but, fortunately, reversible.