1st issue

Posted: November 4, 2006 in Uncategorized

October-November 2006 issue (full version) is now available for free download.
The support (and download) website of The Astral Journal is yet to be uploaded.

The Observation of Variable Stars
Types of Variable Stars
Why observe Variable Stars?
How to observe Variable Stars?
Written by Colin Henshaw

Do you still read your HOROSCOPE?
Why are the signs wrong?
Why do planets affect them?
Astronomy came first…
Written by Pradipta Shrestha

Sky Gazing
November 06 article by Kedar P Badu

  • ‘Da Cosmic Calendar
  • LCROSS: Water On The Moon
  • The Red Planet in History
  • Important Dates
  • Astro-Poetry
  • Humor: Cosmic Trip Comics Strip
  • Space Contest
  • Astrophotography
  • and more…

The freezine is published through:

  1. Colin Henshaw says:


    The Dhaka Declaration:

    It should be pointed out that:

    a) Street lighting does not reduce crime. It has the effect of making people behave at night more as they would do during the day, so areas that are intensively lit will have a higher crime rate. Does it come as any surprise then that city centres and housing estates have the highest crime rates?

    b) There are alternative methods of making streets safer at night for road users – reflective signs, cats’ eyes, baffles of motorway central reservations etc. Street lighting should only be used as a last resort.

    c) It is a waste of energy, and therefore money. However the energy is produced, millions of street lights world-wide are cooking the atmosphere, creating urban heat-engines, thereby contributing to global warming and no doubt being a major contributor to it. With government concerns about energy wastage and global warming now becoming a priority, it makes sense that the least essential offender should be cut back drastically. Any savings made can be re-deployed into health, education and welfare.

    d) Street lighting is destructive to the environment. Studies have shown in Switzerland and elsewhere that street lights kill upwards on 150 insects per night. Over the last forty years as street lighting has expanded world wide, it has been observed that there has been a decline in the number of common insect species, including diurnal species. These are affected because in intensely lit areas they are tricked into thinking it is daylight. Insects buzz around lights until they drop, after which they are too tired to feed or to procreate.

    e) The effect on insects has a concomitant effect on higher order consumers, such as amphibians, reptiles, birds and small mammals. Insects are also important as pollinators, so any reduction in their numbers will in turn have a concomitant effect on plant diversity, further exacerbating the decline in insects and other animals. It is known to affect migration patterns in birds, and the behaviour of organisms in the littoral zone adjoining beachfronts.

    f) Street lighting has been shown to disturb normal circadian rhythms in humans and other animals, affecting melatonin secretion that has been implicated in cancers such as prostate cancer in men, and breast cancer in women.

    All of this is happening now BECAUSE OF STREET LIGHTING. Those who manufacture and impose street lighting on the community should be aware that they are responsible for these changes that are taking place. Therefore the following guidelines are recommended in order to reverse the trends that have been described above.

    1) All night lighting should only be confined to urban areas where there is a recognised safety and security risk.

    2) It should only be applied in suburban areas on major thoroughfares.

    3) On minor roads in suburban areas street lighting should be subject to an 11.30 p.m. curfew and not switched on again till the following night.

    4) Where street lighting is deemed necessary, full cut-off lamps should be employed.

    5) The use lamps that are not full cut-off should be made illegal, along with their manufacture and their export. Their use overseas will be abused and pristine dark sky habitats abroad will be destroyed.

    6) No member of the community should be forced to live with street lighting outside their property. If they request that it be removed, then those responsible are duty bound to remove it, and not parrot out irrelevant concerns about road safety or security. If such cases are ignored, the householder is not being respected and his/her right to darkness is being violated. The onus is not on him/her to purchase thicker curtains or make other modifications to his property, as has been suggested on some occasions, but on the municipality to remove the offending lamp forthwith.

    Colin Henshaw

  2. Anonymous says:

    i liked the article ‘do you stll read ur horoscope?’

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