Science: Blinding the Big Eyes

Environmental pollution is really a problem for everyone. It now turns out that even the nation's astronomers are bothered. With urban sprawl rapidly closing in on their lonely mountain observatories, the astronomers are faced with a problem of first magnitude: the glare of city lights is threatening to put some of the country's largest optical telescopes out of business.

California, in particular, is now becoming an astronomical disaster area. The blinding glow from nearby Los Angeles, for example, has rendered Mount Wilson Observatory's 100-in. telescope useless for the kind of observations of distant...

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