Podcasters: Rob Sparks, Carmen Austin, Becca Levy, Lindsay Small
Description: We once again follow our heroes, Donna the Dark Night, and her loyal sidekick Candesce as they fight to decrease the light pollution in their city. After numerous action-packed encounters, this month Donna and Candesce venture to the lair of their adversary, Lighting Evil Doer, and confront the dastardly villainess about why she is so intent on over-lighting the city. They try to convince her to participate in the Globe at Night citizen-science campaign to measure levels of light pollution. What they learn may surprise you…
Sponsors: This episode of “365 Days of Astronomy” is brought to you by the National Optical Astronomy Observatory on behalf of Globe at Night. NOAO is the national center for ground-based nighttime astronomy in the United States and is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation. Globe at Night has been using crowd-sourced observations to track the spread of light pollution since 2006. This year, the project is expanding so that you can collect data every month of the year. If you can find Orion or another one of the bright constellations being used in the program, you can add your data to this ever growing citizen-science effort. For more information, go to www.globeatnight.org.
Bio: Lindsay Small, author of this podcast and voice of Lighting Evil Doer, is a senior at the University of Arizona with a major in Systems Engineering and a minor in Mathematics. She works as a Special Projects Assistant at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory.
Carmen Austin, playing the part of Donna/The dark night crusader is an undergraduate student in General Studies at the University of Arizona. She also works as a public observing program guide at Kitt Peak National Observatory, as well as an instructional specialist at the UA Steward Observatory.
Becca Levy, the author of this podcast and the voice of Candesce, is currently a senior at the University of Arizona, double majoring in Astronomy and Physics with a minor in French. She also works as a special projects assistant in the Education and Public Outreach Department at NOAO.
Rob Sparks is a science education specialist in the EPO group at NOAO and works on the Galileoscope project (www.galileoscope.org), providing design, dissemination and professional development. He also pens a great blog at halfastro.wordpress.com.
Donna (The Dark Night): Carmen Austin
Narrator: Rob Sparks
Lighting Evil Doer: Lindsay Small
Young Lighting Evil Doer: Lindsay Small
Candesce: Becca Levy
Narrator: Previously, on Dark Night Crusaders, our hero in the battle for dark skies, Donna, the Dark Night, and her friend Candesce once again stopped Lighting Evil Doer from increasing the light pollution in the City of Glowtham, saving a local observatory. Currently, our heroes reside at their headquarters at Linda Lightman Lighting Limited Liability Corporation.
Donna:Hey Candesce, lately we’ve been so busy trying to stop Lighting Evil Doer and Tungstman that we haven’t made much progress making the world a better place by making the night skies darker. I say it’s time we get back to spreading awareness about effective lighting.
Candesce:You’re right, Donna. Why not teach the public about properly lighting their own homes? We’ve made some progress getting lighting ordinances passed, but that takes time. If we spread the word that people can make a huge difference by making small changes in their lives, much more change can happen!
Donna:Candesce, you’re a genius! How amazing would it be if the public knew how much of a difference it would make to shield their outdoor lights. They would not only be decreasing light pollution in their area but also be improving the visibility of whatever they were trying to light up! Not to mention that they’d be saving money if they switch to energy-efficient CFLs. If lots of people did this, light pollution would be reduced by an impressive amount! Wow Candesce, you’ve been such an important ally to me lately that it’s almost hard to believe that you used to be sidekick to my adversary, Lighting Evil Doer.
Candesce:You know, Donna, I know it may seem that Lighting Evil Doer is purely up to no good, but I think that deep down somewhere she cares about light pollution and just doesn’t know it yet.
Donna:Hmm. Well, I’m about to pass out these flyers for our citizen science campaign Globe at Night. Candesce, I think it’s time we pay Lighting Evil Doer a visit.
Narrator:And so, our two heroes traveled to the lair of Lighting Evil Doer to see if maybe, just maybe they could convince her to switch sides, just like Candesce had.
Donna:Lighting Evil Doer! We have not come to your lair to pick a fight, but rather to give you an invitation. Candesce and I want you to join us in helping out our planet by promoting dark skies.
Lighting Evil Doer:Bah! You’re wasting your time. Why don’t you take your little flyers and get out of my sight.
Donna:I don’t understand! Why won’t you help us? Don’t you want the world to be a better place for everyone? Why are you so against having beautiful, dark, starry nights?
Candesce:I think… I think I might know why.
Donna:Wait, really? What is it, Candesce?
Lighting Evil Doer: You’d better not!
Candesce:…Lighting Evil Doer is afraid of the dark.
Lighting Evil Doer: Noooo! My deepest secret has been revealed! Candesce, how could you? You were once my loyal right hand, and now you’ve ruined me.
Donna: But Lighting Evil Doer, you don’t have to be afraid of the dark! Darkness is beneficial to people and animals alike. We NEED darkness. If we don’t have it, we’re prone to all kinds of health problems, and a prolonged lack of darkness at night might have links to cancer! Why don’t you help us out by participating in the next Globe at Night campaign? You can help your community by doing a simple observation to figure out how bad the light pollution in your area is. The dates are September 15-24. You’ll not only be joining an international campaign for dark skies, but you’ll be doing real science in the process.
L.E.D.: Real science? So I could be a scientist, huh? I’ve always wanted to be an Evil Scientist…
Candesce: No, Lighting Evil Doer, not an evil scientist. A citizen scientist! Maybe we can even shorten your name from Lighting Evil Doer to LED! LEDs are an excellent alternative to incandescent bulbs, you know. They can be harmful if they produce too much blue light, but there are amber LEDs that are much healthier and easier on the eyes! The technology is improving every day, and soon they can be used for everything from indoor lighting to streetlights to…
LED: Enough! I will have no more of this! I am no friendly amber LED! I am the Lighting Evil Doer! And as for this Globe at Night campaign…Even if it promotes dark skies, which are beneficial to both people AND animals…
Narrator: Suddenly, Lighting Evil Doer has a flashback to her backyard as a small child. Her parents had moved way out to the rural countryside. Every night, an owl visited the tree next to the small girl’s house. She could see him from the porch.
Young LED: You are such a pretty owl! I’ll name you Mr. Moonlight. You’re my best friend! I used to be scared of the dark, but I’m not scared anymore now that you’re here!
Narrator:However, more and more people began to move to that countryside, and more and more lights lit up the area surrounding the young girl’s house. Mr. Moonlight showed up less and less until one day, he stopped showing up all together. Traumatized, the young girl’s fear of the dark returned, and as time went on, she forgot about her owl friend and how light pollution was the reason he stopped showing up. Now, Lighting Evil Doer comes back to reality.
LED: W-well, you two win for now. B-but mark my words, this is not the last you’ll see of Lighting Evil Doer!
Narrator: Lighting Evil Doer runs off into the distance. Donna and Candesce exchange a high-five, too excited about their victory to notice that Lighting Evil Doer had pocketed a Globe at Nightpostcard. Will Lighting Evil Doer change her ways and become an advocate for dark skies? Tune in next time for our thrilling conclusion in November!
Until then, be a good citizen and participate in the next Globe at Night citizen science campaign, Monday, September 15 to Wednesday, September 24. Globe at Night needs YOU to measure the light pollution level where you live. See www.globeatnight.org for more information.
End of podcast:
365 Days of Astronomy
The 365 Days of Astronomy Podcast is produced by Astrosphere New Media. Audio post-production by Richard Drumm. Bandwidth donated by libsyn.com and wizzard media. You may reproduce and distribute this audio for non-commercial purposes. Please consider supporting the podcast with a few dollars (or Euros!). Visit us on the web at 365DaysOfAstronomy.org or email us at info@365DaysOfAstronomy.org. In the new year the 365 Days of Astronomy project will be something different than before….Until then…goodbye