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Published on Jan 21, 2013
Google has a mapping feature called "Earth At Night 2012" that uses data from the NASA Earth Observatory to show light pollution around the planet. I used the feature to overlay the light pollution map with a google road map centered on Coudersport, PA near Cherry Springs Dark Sky Park. I needed to enlarge the image and match it with close-up road maps because Google does not provide that option to get a more local view. I plotted the location of Marcellus Gas Wells based on permit information from the PA DEP. As of May 2012, there has been 10,033 permits issued with 5,700 wells drilled. The worst light pollution is from gas flarings, the brightest manmade light source, but the proliferation of support facilites using unshielded lighting is also adding to the problem and affecting the night skies of Cherry Springs Dark Sky Park. My website is at http://garyhonis.com