Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Contrails and Astronomy

You shouldn't believe this news story: Telescopes 'worthless' by 2050. Why? Contrails aren't as common as the report makes them out to be. Jet contrails do affect total cloud cover in certain areas, those that are in the early stages of a warm front approaching. But these weather conditions already are non-photometric for astronomers and so additional cloud cover from contrails aren't going to affect operational conditions.

P.S. The real danger to astronomy is the growth of light pollution--wasted energy that only lights the undersides of birds and airplanes.

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