Light pollution can be taken to mean that light emission is the invasion of the night sky by unwanted light or obtrusive use of street, flood and advertising lighting (Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, 2009).
(Images: Adelaide's light pollution. By Justin Tilbrook.)
The misdirected and excessive lighting causes sky glow, which interferes with professional and amateur astronomical observation.
The reduction of the night sky environment or dark sky areas (House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, 2003) due to the growth of light pollution associated with population growth of cities.
(images: A picture of the Earth by Edouard Stenger)
The growth of light pollution associated with population growth of cities.
The outdoor lighting is scattered light in the atmosphere from artificial light sources, which obtrusively illuminate from business premises, sports facilities and urban development (Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, 2010).
Chalermprakhiat Astronomical Observatory Commemorating King Bhumibhol's 7th Birthday Anniversary.
The Thai National Astronomical Observatory is the main facility of the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand, located at Km. 44 on the highest mountain (Doi Inthanon) in the Province of Chiang Mai, which is also renowned for the superb climate and tourist attraction.
(Images: National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (NARIT) (Public Organisation),
Ministry of Science and Technology, Thailand)
The giant Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank, University of Manchester
For over 50 years the giant Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank has been a familiar feature of the Cheshire landscape and an internationally renowned landmark in the world of astronomy.
(Images: Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, University of Manchester,UK)
The light pollution has also led to astronomers moving to dark-sky observing sites.
The visible reduction of astronomical observatories impacts amateur and professional astronomy in England and Thailand.
(Images: Celestial Conjunction at Paranal (Credit: ESO/Y. Beletsky), Universe Today)
National Legal Measures relating to Light Pollution Control
At the national level, many domestic environmental provisions establish specific legal measures relating to light pollution control as specific provisions dealing with artificial light of excessive or obtrusive using of street, flood and advertising lighting, which might be able to emit light pollution (Clark, B.A.J., 2003).
This provision covers artificial light emitted from premises so as to be prejudicial to health or a nuisance . This provision also applies to artificial light emitted from many housing areas and specific areas, for example, street light, security light, industrial, trade or business premises and sports grounds.
The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 sets out the matters constituting statutory nuisances , which might be able to help with lighting levels, including astronomical light pollution.
(Morgan-Taylor, M.P. and Hughes, D.J., 2005).
The Restrictions of Current English Legislation
[i] Lack of an explicit legislative competence in some environmental and planning legal points.
[ii] The Act does not include artificial light emitted from some public facilities e.g. airports, harbours, railway premises, tramway premises, bus stations, public service vehicle operating centres, goods vehicle operating centres, lighthouses, prisons and premises occupied for Defence Purposes.
[iii] English local authorities have not been empowered to address intrusive light nuisance from some illuminated public light sources.
[iv] Although some developments require planning permission in order to control light designs and fixtures, but not all development requires planning consent under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 .
[v] Energy Conservation Promotion Act B.E. 2535 (1992)
[vi] Ministerial Regulation Prescribing the Standard for Administration and Management of Occupational Safety, Health and Work Environment B.E. 2549 (A.D. 2006)
A Comparative Study between England and Thailand
In Thailand, there are no specific legislative controls on light pollution and astronomical light pollution.
Thailand should follow the English legislation to ensure that obtrusive lighting installation and all negative impacts on the appearance of the night-time environment should be controlled by the specific legal provision.
The Enhancement and Conservation of National Environmental Quality Act, B.E. 2535 (1992) should be amended to provide a straightforward procedure for light pollution meaning extension and light pollution control.
- Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (2006). Statutory Nuisance from Insects and Artificial Light Guidance on Sections 101 to 103 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 . London: Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs. p28.
- House of Commons Science and Technology Committee (2003). Light Pollution and Astronomy . The House of Commons: London. pp19-20, pp45-46.
- Huges, D. and Morgan-Taylor, M. (2004). Can't Look up and See the Stars, Journal of Environmental Law , Vol 16, No2, pp215-232.
- Morgan-Taylor, M.P. (2006). Light Pollution and Nuisance: The Enforcement Guidance for Light as a Statutory Nuisance. Journal of Planning & Environment Law , August, pp.1114-1127.
- Morgan-Taylor, M.P. and Hughes, D.J. (2005). Exterior lighting as a statutory nuisance . Journal of Planning & Environment Law , September, pp.1131-1144.
- Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (2009). Artificial Light in the Environment . London: Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution. pp28-30.
Light Pollution Movie http://www.thecitydark.com/