Effects of Light Pollution from Great Leighs Racecourse (UPDATED)

UPDATE (29/08/08) – additional photograph showing the immense glow created by the course from our “dark site” – which is about 20 miles away from the course. Clearly this is a much wider reaching problem than just the close surrounding area:

Here are a few photographs showing how bad the light pollution from the new racecourse is. The skyglow is so massive that it can be seen from several miles away. If it were a clear night, a large part of the sky would be blotted out, meaning the local community would be missing out on the night sky.

Light pollution seen from six miles away

Light pollution from racecrouse seen from six miles away

The light pollution from the racecourse is so great it causes a false dawn

The light pollution from the racecourse is so great it causes a false dawn

The glow from the course blots out the stars

The glow from the course blots out the stars for the local community.

The intense glare from the course is alarming, lighting up the entire surrounding area. The clouds appear as they would in daylight.

The intense glare from the course is alarming, lighting up the entire surrounding area. The clouds appear as they would in daylight.

The floodlighting is also a potential hazard to drivers using the road, as they shine directly into the path of cars.

The floodlighting is also a potential hazard to drivers using the road, as they shine directly into the path of cars.

This racecourse poses a threat to astronomy in this region. Clearly the racecourse plans need to be reassessed by the local councils – the lights should be illuminating the course NOT the rest of the surrounding area and sky.

Images by David Warrington

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Posted on 27 August, 2008, in Astronomy News and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. This is a terrible infringement upon our night sky. The light can be seen from Chelmsford and Dunmow. Aside from night racing I don’t understand why the lights need to be on. Wednesday night we drove home gone midnight, and the lights were still blazing.

    I am not an astronomer, but I certainly with you guys on wanting my night sky dark as I enjoy the stars.

    I suggest we contact the papers, the council and our MP’s and get the lights extinguished as soon as racing has finished.

  2. Totally agree about the Great Leighs racecourse light pollution – several nights we have driven past and the lights have been on past midnight, they cannot being using it at this time so it is a gross waste of resources and must be damaging the local wildlife. We are also less than amused to be able to see it from our bedroom in Little Dunmow. It’s a miracle no pilots have mistaken it for the airport!

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