For his work to deter light pollution, Big Island civil servant - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

For his work to deter light pollution, Big Island civil servant gets out of this world honor

(Image: Hawaii County) (Image: Hawaii County)
HILO, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Hawaii County Traffic Division Chief Ronald Thiel now has a pretty impressive claim to fame: He's got an asteroid named after him.

"9923 ronaldthiel" has a diameter of 2.55 miles and has an orbit of 1,723 days around the sun.

Thiel got the honor because of his work to deter light pollution on the Big Island. Light pollution can affect wildlife and can also make it harder for astronomers to look farther into space.

Thanks to his work, the Big Island became the first county in the nation to convert all of its 11,000 street lights to LED lamps.

The lamps are more energy efficient, last longer and improve visibility while reducing glare.

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