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Dark Skies Awareness Blog

This Dark Skies Awareness blog aims to increase understanding of the need to preserve our dark skies and improve conditions in light-polluted areas. This special blog will have posts throughout Global Astronomy Month.

Light pollution is the artificial brightening of night skies and has negative impacts on wildlife, human health, energy, and safety—in addition to the loss of a beautiful sky and our cultural heritage that it provides  Throughout this blog, you will find articles ranging from basic information about light pollution to detailed analysis of new research and discoveries.  By informing public outreach with scientific insights, the blog will provide a forum for understanding just how much humanity needs its dark night sky.

Astronomers Without Borders (AWB) in collaboration with the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) and Globe at Night (GaN) will be writing the blog together—bringing into focus the thoughts of scientists, amateur astronomers, citizen scientists, and anyone that has an interest in gaining and sharing knowledge.

Posted By Simiao Samira You on Monday, 14 April 2014. Posted in Dark Skies Awareness Blog

by Ty Pham-Swann

My name is Ty Pham-Swann and I created a dark sky project that won a first place prize at the Southern Arizona Regional Science and Engineering Fair (SARSEF). I’m a 5th grade student at Canyon View Elementary in Tucson. My project’s title was, “Does the light in the night sky affect night birds?” I did this project because I’ve always been interested in wildlife and people, and...

Posted By Simiao Samira You on Thursday, 10 April 2014. Posted in Dark Skies Awareness Blog

By David Fuller

 I am a firm believer in sales. Sales are what make the world go round – well, the business world, certainly, but what many people don't realize is that they are in sales even if they don't hold the title of “salesperson.” But to the point: Any good salesperson knows that logic does not drive sales; what does matter is something deeper and 'gut-level'...

Posted By Simiao Samira You on Thursday, 03 April 2014. Posted in Dark Skies Awareness Blog

by Tim Hunter

INTRODUCTION

Amateur astronomers and sky observers worldwide trying to reduce light pollution and improve the night sky in their communities often come across a variety of objections, which are usually based on inaccurate facts, misconceptions or, at times, deliberate falsehoods. I call these "lighting...

Posted By Simiao Samira You on Monday, 29 April 2013. Posted in Dark Skies Awareness Blog

by Beverley Sutton

Problem: No budget for field trips, so how to bring real science into the lives of my students?

Solution: Globe at Night campaigns!

I teach 8th grade science at Pistor Middle School and this is the first year I have...

Posted By Simiao Samira You on Monday, 29 April 2013. Posted in Dark Skies Awareness Blog

by Chuck Dugan

“Well, do you want to be a superhero or not?”

They were still waiting for my answer, and I was struggling mightily to come up with a reason to accept their proposal.

“Okay, so what superpowers do I have?” I asked.

“None.”

Posted By Simiao Samira You on Friday, 26 April 2013. Posted in Dark Skies Awareness Blog

by Amy Sayle

Maybe it was our anti-rain dance that did it.

For days, weather forecasts had predicted rain for Friday, April 5—the date of North Carolina’s first-ever Statewide Star Party. But the skies cleared just in time over virtually the entire state.

Posted By Simiao Samira You on Wednesday, 24 April 2013. Posted in Dark Skies Awareness Blog

By Xiaohua Wang

Mount Tai is located in Shandong Province in eastern China. It is called the "chieftain" among five famous mountains in China. Since the Qin Dynasty, more than 2,000 years ago, 13 emperors have gone to worship at Mount Tai; generations of officials and scholars have left inscriptions on the stone of the mountain. In 1987, UNESCO (United Nations Educational,...

Posted By Simiao Samira You on Monday, 22 April 2013. Posted in Dark Skies Awareness Blog

by Christopher Kyba

Since you’re reading this blog post, the odds are you already know that there are serious problems with the way lighting is used in industrialized societies. The odds are also good that you’d like to do something about it. But what can any one individual accomplish, when lighting decisions are made by faceless corporations and impenetrable city bureaucracy?...

Posted By Simiao Samira You on Thursday, 18 April 2013. Posted in Dark Skies Awareness Blog

by Ameé Hennig

“The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing…to find the place where all the beauty came from.”

This quotation from C.S. Lewis’ novel Till We Have Faces is one of my favorites and most accurately defines how I feel about IDA’s International...

Posted By Thilina Heenatigala on Thursday, 11 April 2013. Posted in Dark Skies Awareness Blog

by David Fuller

Ask any random person what “light pollution” or means, and the odds of you getting a correct response from a non-astronomer is pretty slim.  It just isn't on the radar of the average person.  But placed into context, “Do you know why you can't see the stars at night?” or “Does light shining into your window at night keep you from sleeping?” then the...

Posted By Thilina Heenatigala on Tuesday, 02 April 2013. Posted in Dark Skies Awareness Blog

By Larry Sessions

I started teaching online astronomy classes for the Community College of Aurora (Colorado) and Metropolitan State University of Denver more than 15 years ago. Teaching an observational science through the Internet can be a particular challenge because I have always felt the need for students to have some kind of real introduction to the night sky, rather than...

Posted By Simiao Samira You on Thursday, 07 March 2013. Posted in Dark Skies Awareness Blog

by Carolyn Collins Petersen

If you were going to make a video about light pollution and its effects on people, and it could only be five or six minutes long, what would you tell people? There are so many aspects to the issue of light pollution that it's very tough to pick out just a few facts to impress on viewers. That was the challenge a group of us faced as we set out to create our newly...

Posted By Simiao Samira You on Friday, 08 February 2013. Posted in Dark Skies Awareness Blog

by Tim Hunter

Unfortunately, most people today live in urban and suburban communities filled with light pollution. They have not experienced the dark skies that were found everywhere in the United States a generation ago. Unless someone has lived on a farm, gone to camp in the mountains or woods away from the city, or joined an astronomy club, he or she has no idea what constitutes a dark sky or what has...

Posted By Simiao Samira You on Friday, 08 February 2013. Posted in Dark Skies Awareness Blog

BY AMEE HENNIG

I first heard of GLOBE at Night when I literally bumped into its creator, Connie Walker. First I should tell you she is one of the friendliest and bubbliest people I have met. And if you ask her about GLOBE at Night she’ll tell you that it is a citizen science campaign (that means you, no matter who you are or what you do or how old you are, you are the...

Posted By Simiao Samira You on Monday, 04 February 2013. Posted in Dark Skies Awareness Blog

by Scott Kardel

In early December NASA released a new global map of our Earth at night. The new ‘Black Marble’ images show that our world isn’t so black. In fact, it is littered with light.

black-marble

The...