The Evolution of Tucson City Lights
About this image
These three images taken in 1959, 1980 and 2003 show the evolutionary change and growth of the artificial lights emitted by the greater Tucson area as seen from Kitt Peak National Observatory, about 56 miles (90 kilometers) southwest of the downtown area.
Although the light emission has obviously grown, qualitatively, it appears to have lagged the explosive growth in Tucson's population during this period. Light pollution control ordinances and outstanding public cooperation have limited stray light to the extent that Kitt Peak remains a world-class astronomical site.
The ghost image just slightly visible to the naked eye in the foreground of the image is actually a series of daylight exposures that demonstrate the location of the mountain ranges between Kitt Peak and Tucson.
A much larger image, continuing the panorama to the north and south, is separately available.
More: history page.
Minimum credit line: Bill Schoening, J.C.Golson, Mark Hanna and NOAO/AURA/NSF
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