Take light pollution more seriously

It is heartening to know that there are young people here who are taking an interest in the problem of light pollution and the real stars of the night sky ("Good to be on the dark side" by Naufal Aktsa Midy Efendy; Dec 30, 2015).

People today have mostly lost interest in the constellations and stars.

The movements of stars and the planets, like Mars and Jupiter, used to be of utmost importance to people.

The Egyptians aligned their three great pyramids of Giza to the stars located on Orion's Belt and the brightest star of the night sky, Sirius.

Moreover, stars were vital to ancient mariners traversing oceans. In the same vein, Stonehenge was built by people anxious to track the heavenly bodies.

The ancients were understandably more interested in the stars, as they could be readily visible on a clear night.

This ability to admire the stars is being taken away from the modern city-dweller, thanks to the heavy light pollution that encases every city.

From our cities, we can make out only a dozen stars, and often not enough to make out a constellation.

The understated problem of light pollution has to be properly addressed if people were to be interested in stars and astronomy again.

The Earth Hour event, which is carried out once a year - with just one hour during which non-essential lighting is switched off - is insufficient in terms of having any substantial effect on electricity savings or mitigating the light-pollution situation.

As suggested in Naufal's letter, these additional lights should be turned off permanently.

Lee Kay Yan (Miss)