Astronomers fight back against electronic billboards

Jeff Hall, director of Lowell Observatory, is concerned about statewide loosening of regulations concerning electronic billboards. (Josh Biggs/Arizona Daily Sun)

Astronomy is big business in Arizona.

And it also protects national security interests.

That’s the case the state’s astronomy community is making against HB2757, which would lift the state ban on electronic billboards and let local jurisdictions take responsibility for them.

The astronomy sector supports more than 3,000 jobs with a total capital investment of more than $1 billion, according to a University of Arizona study.

The U.S. Naval Observatory at Flagstaff provides the Department of Defense with the infrared and optical sky maps needed to support military operations and protect DoD satellites.