Some city council members think Calgarians need to do a better job of turning down their lights — literally, and a city council committee agreed by voting to amend planning policies for light pollution in future developments.

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield tweeted a picture of Calgary from space Tuesday, and many of the major roads were clearly visible.

The view from space used to be even brighter before the city switched to energy efficient bulbs for streetlights and pointed them downwards.

Aldermen heard Wednesday that light pollution is also affecting the ability of the University of Calgary's observatory south of the city to view the stars.

Ald. Brian Pincott says turning lights downward saves money, and is environnmentally responsible, but the city can't force current light polluters to do so.

"Grandfathering is always an issue," he said. "We can't go back and make everybody take their offending lights down, as much as we'd want to. But the moment they have to redo their lighting, they would have to fall within the guidelines."

Calgarians can have their say on the new policy when it goes to city council in April.


Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield tweeted this picture of Calgary on Tuesday, saying "Calgary at night, shining in the foothills of the Rockies. Nose Hill Park really stands out." (Chris Hadfield/Twitter)

With files from CBC's Scott Dippel