Posted on: Monday, October 4, 2004
Astronomers seek light limits
A Maui County Council committee is considering a proposed lighting ordinance aimed at reducing interference with astronomical observations at the summit of Haleakala.
Councilman Michael Molina, who introduced the measure, said he hoped to have a Public Works Committee hearing on the bill Oct. 14 and to have it passed by the council this year.
The bill would require shields and low-pressure sodium bulbs for outdoor lighting of new developments. The shields would direct light downward instead of into the night sky, and low-pressure sodium bulbs emit a narrow spectrum of light that can be filtered out of astronomical viewing.
Increasing urban light pollution is threatening the quality of astronomers' work on Haleakala, said Jeanne Skog, a spokeswoman for high technology on Maui.
Research at the summit has helped diversify Maui's tourist-based economy and create a $140 million industry, she said.