A Valuable Resource Against Light Pollution Emerges from An Unusual Location

by Rich Sherman, the self-appointed co-chair of the Extreme Southern Princeton chapter of the AAAP.

On a warm and extremely buggy night in Big Cypress National Preserve in late March, Mike DiMario and I had the opportunity to chat with a couple of other astrophotographers that were set up a few yards from us. During our conversation, I learned about Dr. Mario Motta who is a trustee of the American Medical Association (AMA). He is also a board-certified cardiologist and clinical professor of medicine at Tufts University. Dr. Motta is also one of us: he is a long-time amateur astronomer, and is known for having built a 32″ f/6 telescope with five corrector lenses.  

His website has a section on street lighting (https://www.mariomottamd.com/street-lighting/) where he references the peer-reviewed pivotal 2012 study that he co-authored, “Light Pollution: Adverse Health Effects of Nighttime Lighting.” This research paper discusses higher cancer rates, especially endocrine-based carcinomas as a result of circadian rhythm disruption. He also mentions General Electric which affirmed his research, and Apple which adjusted its nighttime iPhone display following the published paper.  

If you are like me, you probably get a lot of blank stares whenever you talk about lighting issues. However, this web page offers lots of evidence that lighting really does matter to safety and health. Dr. Motta also provides several links for additional reading on the topic—from National Geographic to PBS, and much more.  

Perhaps we can get Dr. Motta as one of our guest speakers…? In the meantime, I suggest we share the link to Dr. Motta’s website—educating ourselves and others can only help.     

This entry was posted in April 2023, Sidereal Times and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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