It should be no surprise that the night sky has been a source of inspiration for their members. A beautiful, inspiring sky can help make you want to explore the universe. We talked about how the two organizations might work together and it led to my article that was the cover story for last summer's issue of The Planetary Report.
Another eventual result of that meeting what that Bill Nye recorded a short statement on light pollution. Check it out:
It is great to have one of the more famous, dare I say, Science Guys on the planet speak out about this issue.
Of course, before there was Bill Nye there was Carl Sagan (one of the co-founders of the Planetary Society). Sagan had a passage on light pollution in his book Pale Blue Dot. It was moving enough that I used the quote to begin my article and I present it now here:
Before we invented civilization, our ancestors lived mainly in the open, out under the sky. Before we devised artificial lights and atmospheric pollution and modern forms of nocturnal entertainment, we watched the stars. There were practical calendrical reasons, of course, but there was more to it than that. Even today, the most jaded city dweller can be unexpectedly moved upon encountering a clear night sky studded with thousands of twinkling stars. When it happens to me after all these years, it still takes my breath away.
Well said, don't you agree?