Seattle Astronomical Society The Webfooted Astronomer << Previous Page Next Page >>

The Webfooted Astronomer - December 1999


SAS Members in Last-Ditch Effort to Prevent Space Needle's Sky Beam

The Landmarks Preservation Board will review the Space Needle's proposal to install an 85-million candlepower sky beam on the Space Needle on Dec. 15. Karl Schroeder is heading up a group of SAS members to prepare a presentation for the meeting. Other members involved in this effort are Randy Johnson, Jerry West and George Best.

"Imagine the effect this light will have on our monthly star parties, future lunar eclipses, meteor showers and comets," says Karl. "Would it be visible from Table Mountain? The Federal Aviation Administration has granted approval for the project, and the city considers the project as just another lighting project, without environmental impact."

This issue of the Webfooted Astronomer goes to press before the Landmark Preservation Board meets on the Space Needleís proposal. However, SAS Member Mary Anderson suggests we send letters, e-mail, and phone calls to the Space Needle itself. "The Space Needle Corp. is extremely concerned about community image with the goal, of course, of increasing patronage," says Mary.

"Their major goal has been to project a wholesome, community-oriented, family-oriented image. For this reason, it occurred to me that it might be productive to contact the Space Needle Corp. directly and appeal to their own business interests. An appeal based on amateur astronomers' concerns about views of Saturn or lunar eclipses donít carry much weight with the Needle's management. It may be more effective to appeal to their own interests by focusing on the effect of this light on the image of the Space Needle and of the city along with the consequent effect of a possibly tarnished image on their bottom line: their business success and profits," continues Mary. SAS President Randy Johnson and other members have also sent letters to the Space Needle.

To contact the Space Needle, go to, and click the management link, which take you to an e-mail form to contact them. E-mail: Corporate address: 203 Sixth Avenue N., Seattle, WA 98109. Phone: 206-443-9700, Fax: 206-441-7415.

Top of Page