Reserve a big part of local dark sky efforts

Reserve a big part of local dark sky efforts

  • December 13, 2018
  • News

The stars at night are big and bright … for now. But encroaching development and lights are making our views of the nightly heavens less heavenly. But several communities and individuals are working to see that this part of the Hill Country can still focus upward for inspiration and awe at night and see the Milky Way in all its glory. A Dark Sky Reserve area is being planned with Enchanted Rock State Natural Area serving as its center. The…

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New Mexico blazing a dark sky trail

New Mexico blazing a dark sky trail

  • October 31, 2018
  • News

While New Mexico has long been a destination for dark sky enthusiasts, there had been no organized effort to promote dark sky tourism until the state’s Tourism Department got involved. On a visit to Capulin Volcano National Monument in the fall of 2017, staff members from the New Mexico Tourism Department learned about the dark sky programs there and why dark skies are important. This experience “kicked us into action,” according to David Griscom, who spearheaded the project as Tourism…

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Seeking America’s Quietest Spots: The Quest for Silence in a Loud World

Seeking America’s Quietest Spots: The Quest for Silence in a Loud World

  • October 2, 2018
  • News

The hiker trudged up a logging road and into a valley, tracing a route that seemed unremarkable. There were no sweeping views of the mountains that towered nearby. There was no summit to scale. Yet he stopped suddenly, jubilant, after about four miles of walking. He had found exactly what he was searching for: quiet. “Let’s see,” said the hiker, Dennis Follensbee, “how we experience three minutes of silence.” In these loud times — with political foes yelling on television,…

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The deadly lure of city lights

The deadly lure of city lights

  • September 20, 2018
  • News

Every Sept. 11, beams of light rise more than four miles into the night sky from the National 9/11 Memorial & Museum in Lower Manhattan to honor the nearly 3,000 lives lost in America’s most devastating terrorist attacks. The glowing columns elegantly trace the outlines of the twin towers. But they also beckon thousands of migrating birds into the city’s skyscraper canyons, where they can become disoriented and crash headlong into buildings. Since 2005, thanks to efforts by New York…

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Varsity Home Opener Spotlights City’s Environmental Cause

Varsity Home Opener Spotlights City’s Environmental Cause

  • September 13, 2018
  • News

Wimberley, Texas, September 10, 2018 — Kick-off for the first Texan Varsity Football home game will be under Dark Sky Friendly lights Friday, September 14. Shining a spotlight on Wimberley Independent School District’s commitment to the city’s focus on environmental consciousness, Friday Night Lights at Texan Stadium are new and noise-free. Earlier this year Wimberley was designated, a Dark Sky Friendly community by the International Dark Sky Association.   “We all benefit when we work together as a community to…

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Your next trip? It’s written in the stars

Your next trip? It’s written in the stars

  • September 4, 2018
  • News

Like watching the sunset, seeking out the Big Dipper in the night sky is a vacation ritual. But in the past five years, according to experts, the term astrotourism has evolved to describe more intentional travel to places with dark skies and more visible stars. “Astrotourism is any kind of tourism that involves the night sky or visiting facilities related to astronomy like observatories, and combining that with a broader sense of ecotourism where interaction with nature is what the visitor experience…

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Texas Hill Country sets example for saving dark skies

Texas Hill Country sets example for saving dark skies

  • August 22, 2018
  • News

Dripping Springs became the first city in Texas to become dark sky- certified by International Dark-Sky Association, and since the Texas Hill Country has become a hotbed for dark sky preservation. Dripping Springs City Administrator Michelle Fischer said there are currently more active groups working on developing dark-sky ordinances or getting dark sky-certified in Texas, specifically the Hill Country, than any other area in the world. An Arizona-based nonprofit that has set standards for lighting and protected the skies since…

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Artificial light is killing our view of the night sky. But we can change that.

Artificial light is killing our view of the night sky. But we can change that.

  • July 23, 2018
  • News

Through much of human history, our ancestors looked up at a night sky filled with stars that set planting patterns and helped lead them across continents. We’ve since filled that night sky with artificial light, brightening our immediate surroundings and dimming the stars above.  New York City residents can live their entire lives seeing fewer than a dozen of the brightest stars and planets. Most people living east of the Mississippi River will never see the Milky Way in all its sparkling…

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Artificial Light at Night May be Contributing to “Ecological Armageddon”

Artificial Light at Night May be Contributing to “Ecological Armageddon”

  • July 23, 2018
  • News

In 2017, drastic declines of insects were reported by a team of scientists in Germany. The research indicated that the biomass of flying insects decreased more than 75% over the 27-year study period. In a new study published in the Annals of Applied Biology, scientists from the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB) investigate the relationship between insect declines and artificial light at night (ALAN), suggesting “that artificial lighting could be an overlooked driver of insect declines.”…read more on DarkSky.org

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Wimberley Valley Cities become third International Dark Sky Community in Texas

Wimberley Valley Cities become third International Dark Sky Community in Texas

  • June 15, 2018
  • News

In recognition of noteworthy local efforts to reduce light pollution and promote the benefits of nighttime darkness, the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) today designated the Wimberley Valley of Texas as an International Dark Sky Community. It is only the third such designation to date in the Lone Star State. The Wimberley Valley, situated in the Texas Hill Country between the Austin and San Antonio metropolitan areas, consists of the Cities of Wimberley and Woodcreek and neighboring unincorporated areas subject to limited municipal regulation.…

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