Lightscape Map Desired

Although I would not call myself an avid astronomy enthusiast, I enjoy stargazing in my free time, albeit with no telescope and via the naked eye. Hence, last week’s topic about light pollution in urban areas really intrigued me. Often, when the situation allows it, I enjoy pointing out stars and constellations to my friends. This often happens on campus, together with a clear, cloudless sky. (The exact location would be the stretch of road from Faculty of Science to NUH, near the School of Medcine) There, I would easily point out to them, the bright and more easily recognizable constellations like Orion. When the sky is really cloud free, it is even possible to see the Plaeides star cluster! Usually my friends would be amazed and I would chide them for not looking up at the skies more often. However, most would say that they were never able to see these near their homes which contradict with my own experience, for when stargazing at locations near my house, I was always able to see and recognize constellations such as Leo, Canis Major, Scorpio, just naming a few. In fact, in my opinion, the night sky there and here in NUS does not differ that much. That said, my friends live pretty far away from me, them living in the Jurong area while I stay in the Serangoon area, though we all live in HDB estates. Since an attempt to dig up a lightscape-map of sorts of Singapore did not have any results, it makes me wonder about how does light pollution vary in the different areas of Singapore? Does this correlates to the urban geometry of that area? If so how is it correlated?


One thought on “Lightscape Map Desired

  • February 17, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    Hi Zhe Ching,

    I can’t say I am an astronomy enthusiast as well-versed as you. But I have dabbled in astrophotography. I don’t have anything worthy of posting up, but it has taught me quite abit about location and time best to “look up”.

    Light pollution definitely does vary in different areas in Singapore. One of my most favourite spots is Changi Beach (the stretch after Changi Village and near the SAF Ferry Terminal). While there isn’t anywhere perfect in Singapore, in terms of a dark sky, the coastal areas are quite good. The main polluter there is the Changi Airport and perhaps some of the big boats. On some good nights, both the sea and sky can be quite clear. Some stretches on East Coast Park are also good.

    In that sense, I feel that light pollution increases from the coastal areas to inwards of our city. Of course, this is a very coarse way of identifying a simple gradient. Also density of buildings also affects this, amongst a host of many other factors. The Southern Coast near Pasir Panjang used to be good, till the recent condominiums came up. Oddly, I pointed out to my girlfriend (just about a week ago) that you could negatively correlate light pollution to amount of couples. Hehe.

    You might want to check this link out:

    This photographer, Justin Ng, is one of my idols and he shoots amazing astrophotos. Of course they are heavily processed to filter out the noise pollution (which he talks about as well).


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