For use with Chapter 16
Vacations in the Dark
Posted September 18, 2000
will do almost anything for recreation. Tourist companies
are working hard to develop new ways for people to have a
good time when they are on vacation. With the advent of new
technology, new tourism possibilities arise.
was only a few years ago that the world was introduced to
night vision technology. Night vision devices amplify millions
of times small amounts of available light allowing objects
to be visible in the dark. This makes reliance on artificial
light unnecessary in many situations. The amplified image
then appears on a screen. Most people saw it first used in
a practical setting during the Gulf War, when night vision
technology was used by fighter pilots during nighttime air
raids. Since then, the familiar green-colored images have
been seen in television shows, movies, and the news. It was
only a matter of time before these products were used for
Darryl Bangert has developed a very special rafting tour
down the Colorado River. He started a tour that allowed visitors
to use special night-vision goggles to look at the stars and
the nature that surrounds them on a raft trip down the Colorado.
five-hour tour begins with stargazing on the banks of the
river with astronomer Jimmy Westlake. The night vision goggles
worn by the participants amplify the ambient light millions
of times to make dim stars bright, and allows people to see
stars that are not even visible to the naked eye.
the astronomy lesson, visitors are treated to a ride down
the Colorado River in a raft. On the trip they can view wildlife
in near darkness and see the woods come alive. The tour ends
with a trip down the rapids.
the use of this technology for tourism is still new, and could
possibly be a fad, it offers patrons a chance to see nature
in a new and different light.
Use the web sites listed here to learn more about
night vision technology. Write an article in your Science
Journal explaining how night vision technology can be used
to help people in their daily lives.