Solar-Powered LED Lights in the Hudson River "Reflect" the Unseen Stars Above NYC
Images Courtesy of Sparkplug PR
In much of the United States, light pollution in cities and even the suburbs is so bad that "dark sky tourism" is a rising trend, as Americans seek out the stars their ancestors took for granted. Next month, New Yorkers will get an unusual view of the night sky, without a visit to a dark sky park. 201 LED lights in the Hudson River will "reflect" the stars above New York City that no one can see.
The LEDs, which are solar-powered, will be installed on the wood posts at Pier 49. The exhibition, called "Reflecting the Stars," is part of Climate Week NYC (September 19-26). It is the work of artist Jon Morris, founder and artistic director of arts collective the Windmill Factory.
Visitors to "Reflecting the Stars" can press buttons on shore that will brighten series of lights, to highlight the constellations that are actually overhead. The goal is to make New Yorkers aware of the very real problems posed by light pollution, said Morris:
We hope to not only give the viewer a sublime moment of reflection but also raise their awareness about our disappearing night sky. This combination will motivate people to turn off lights at home, ask their offices to put lights on timers, and perhaps even help influence public lighting policy.
For a $100 donation to the Windmill Factory, you can dedicate one of the "stars" to whomever you like. The exhibit will run from sunset to midnight, August 30 to October 25.
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More on light pollution:
Another Reason to Curb Light Pollution: For the Bugs
Light Pollution Can Kill?
Urban Light Pollution Boosts Air Pollution
Looking At Lights From Space: A Sign of Progress or Failure?