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Discussion Starter #1
I know this is _completely_ off topic, but;
1) Many folks on this list have an interest in air pollution
2) I played a role in this nifty discovery as part of my "day" job,
(so I had to brag a little.)

http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=dimming-city-lights-may-help-reduce-2010-12-16

The prime motivation to take nighttime measurements is the study of
nitrate radicals, which is what I do, as part of a team. (I guess it
is more correctly my "night" job. ;-) ) The other scientists would
prefer to fly missions during normal work hours for obvious reasons,
as would the air crew. However, there are important chemical
processes (involved with pollution) that only happen at night, so
this motivates some fraction of the missions be flown at night, even
though we _all_ would rather be sleeping. |-O

Because we were planning to do night missions, I posed the question
to Harald Stark (the scientist that measures the type and amount of
light,) "Is there enough artificial light to photolyze NO3 in any
significant way at night?" Harald said, "I have thought about this
for some time and maybe there is. I wrote a special instrument
program to give it a try, because we are going to be flying at night
anyway and it is at least worth looking." (I'd like to think that my
persistent encouragement helped motivate the measurement.)

Apparently, there turns out to be there _is_ enough artificial light
to make significant difference. Kind of nifty to be a part of the
team in such a cool discovery.

Bill D.

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