Thursday, November 1, 2012

Las Luces

The stars, except for the very bright ones, are not visible to the north. They have been scrubbed from the night sky by man-made-light pollution five miles north of town. That is where the epicenter of the Palangana Salt dome is located; one of the largest salt domes west of the Mississippi. It covers over 3000 acres and extends down 35,000 feet. C.C. Brine operates wells on its surface to dispose of exploration and production waste from the oilfield. The operation works around the clock, and so we have the intrusive lights. It is more difficult now to point out Polaris, the Little Dipper or Big Dipper to my young friend, Evan. He will turn 10 this month and it is unfortunate the night sky is not as clear or the stars as bright for him as it was for me when I was ten. Happily, when we turn our gaze to the south, it still looks good and the constellations stand out more clearly.

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