Rousseau tack­les light prob­lem at bor­der – Light from United States in­ter­fer­ing with star ob­ser­va­tion at Me­gan­tic

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS BRIEFS -

New Demo­crat MP Jean Rousseau (Compton-Stanstead), of­fi­cials from the Mon­tMé­gan­tic Ob­ser­va­tory and the Astro-lab, as well as a group of sci­en­tists that in­cludes Dr Lorne Nel­son from Bishop’s Univer­sity, met with U.S. Con­sul Gen­eral An­drew Parker last Tues­day to dis­cuss the prob­lem of light pol­lu­tion at the bor­der, which threat­ens the world’s first Dark Sky Re­serve.

The af­ter­noon meet­ing was held at the MP’s of­fice. «I ar­ranged the meet­ing be­cause I wanted the U.S. Con­sul to un­der­stand the is­sue and its sig­nif­i­cance,» said Mr. Rousseau. «So far, we haven’t had a prob­lem get­ting the at­ten­tion of U.S. au­thor­i­ties on the mat­ter.»

In 2003, the ob­ser­va­tory put a pro­gram in place to in­crease aware­ness of light pol­lu­tion, which threat­ens star ob­ser­va­tion. The ef­fort has borne fruit, said the MP, but changes to lighting at the U.S. bor­der cross­ing at Chartierville has put eco­nomic and sci­en­tific ac­tiv­i­ties at Mon­tMé­gan­tic in jeop­ardy.

«The is­sue is now be­ing ad­dressed, and I’m very hope­ful that we will suc­ceed in per­suad­ing the U.S. to rem­edy the prob­lem quickly, es­pe­cially in light of the sup­port the ob­ser­va­tory has re­ceived on this is­sue from U.S. sci­en­tists, in­clud­ing a lead­ing physi­cist from the Mas­sachusetts In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy,» said Mr. Rousseau.

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