To the editor:
Imagine a perfect lake day here in the Tri-Lakes region: not too many boats, beautiful water temperatures and clear skies. Or, imagine the satisfaction of hiking a high peak. That is something to go down in your own record book. There is so much to do here in our area. Whatever your interests, it probably involves being in our great outdoors in the Adirondacks.
But I say that the best time to be in our outdoors is when the sun goes down and the moon comes up. Our nighttime skies are some of the clearest in New York state. There are only six remaining places on Earth where you can obtain total darkness at night. These are classified as regions that have "zero light pollution." These areas include central Africa, the Amazon rainforest in South America, western Australia, Antarctica and parts of both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. The website www.lightpollution.it has maps showing how light-polluted the skies are around the world. With large cities so close to our region such as Montreal, Albany, Burlington and Syracuse, outside of the Adirondack Park, our New York skies are polluted.
The village of Saranac Lake gives off more light pollution than Tupper Lake does, as seen from Upper Saranac Lake.
(Photo — Jack Yanchitis)
Whether you are a local, tourist or second home owner in this area, I encourage you to go see our beautiful nighttime skies. Www.earthsky.org says that there are only 10 more nights of meteor showers this year, where we can see upwards of 15 shooting stars per hour.
I enjoy shooting exposure photography at night, and this has allowed me to take some pretty incredible shots of star trails and time lapses on various islands on Upper Saranac Lake. When the sky is perfectly clear and the moon is not around, it is incredible to gaze at the Milky Way spanning the sky from one end of the lake to the other.
Summer is only here for another 20 nights. Go see what's up there.