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