Geneva to be plunged into darkness (on purpose) to expose light pollution

Geneva to be plunged into darkness (on purpose) to expose light pollution

  • October 1, 2019
  • News

Almost 150 municipalities in greater Geneva will hold a planned blackout on Thursday night to raise public awareness of the negative effects of light pollution. Authorities across much of greater Geneva will switch off public lighting on the night of Thursday September 26 for a public awareness event being dubbed “La nuit est belle” (It’s a beautiful night/Nighttime is beautiful). “The initiative aims to raise awareness of the harmful effects of light pollution and also allow our 1 million inhabitants…

Read More
Moonlight helps white barn owls stun their prey

Moonlight helps white barn owls stun their prey

Barn owls are skilled nocturnal hunters, swooping across open landscapes to scout out small rodents that scurry below. But scientists have long been puzzled by a trait that seems like it would work against the birds during their nighttime prowls. Some barn owls boast a brilliant white plumage—an unusual feature for an animal that should, in theory, need to remain inconspicuous against the darkened sky. The bellies of Tyto alba, as the common barn owl is formally known, can range…

Read More
It’s not too early to plan for the Great American total solar eclipse of 2024

It’s not too early to plan for the Great American total solar eclipse of 2024

  • August 22, 2019
  • News

Wednesday (Aug. 21) marked the two-year anniversary of the Great American Solar Eclipse, and if you are eager to view the next celestial sensation to cross the North American skies, get ready for another eclipse treat on April 8, 2024. According to a study led by researchers at the University of Michigan last summer, about 88% of American adults viewed the total solar eclipse in 2017 either directly or digitally. The total solar eclipse could be seen from Oregon to…

Read More
Perseid meteor shower will peak in night skies

Perseid meteor shower will peak in night skies

  • August 12, 2019
  • News

All year long as Earth revolves around the sun, it passes through streams of cosmic debris. The resulting meteor showers can light up night skies from dusk to dawn, and if you’re lucky you might be able to catch a glimpse. The next shower you might be able to see is the Perseids. Active between July 17 and Aug. 26, the show peaks around Monday night into Tuesday morning, or Aug. 12-13. The Perseids light up the night sky when…

Read More
Apache donates $257,000 to McDonald Observatory

Apache donates $257,000 to McDonald Observatory

  • July 25, 2019
  • News

Apache Corp. gifted $257,000 to the University of Texas’ McDonald Observatory to help with the prevention of light pollution in dark West Texas skies – which are often used for research. The funds will hire additional staff to create resources for the dark skies programs that allow the observatory to collaborate with city councils, county governments and businesses to promote good lighting solutions, according to a release from the observatory. It also will assist with the funding of educational materials…

Read More
Rep. Zwiener’s HB 4158, ‘Hill Country Night Sky Tourism Bill,’ becomes law

Rep. Zwiener’s HB 4158, ‘Hill Country Night Sky Tourism Bill,’ becomes law

Dark Sky cities in the Texas Hill Country can now use their hotel occupancy tax dollars to protect the night sky. Representative Erin Zwiener’s (D-Driftwood) HB 4158 is now law and effective immediately.  HB 4158, the Hill Country Night Sky Tourism bill, gives small cities in Hays and Blanco Counties another important tool to invest in local tourism efforts. This legislation recognizes the importance of dark skies to visitors and residents of the Hill Country and allows communities to use…

Read More
Why we are losing the night sky

Why we are losing the night sky

It never gets dark anymore. Not REALLY dark, anyway. Not like it used to. Light pollution is not only making it more difficult to see the night sky, but it’s also affecting our health. For the past century and a half, since the dawn of electric light, we’ve been losing our connection to the night. We need artificial light for modern society, of course. The problem is, we need darkness for our health, and for the health of wildlife and…

Read More
HEADS UP PEC CUSTOMERS! Time to Vote!

HEADS UP PEC CUSTOMERS! Time to Vote!

The Pedernales Electric Co-op is having its annual election. Attend the Annual Meeting this Saturday, June 22 at Horseshoe Bay Resort to cast your ballot in person (online and mail-in voting has ended). Remember- the PEC Board sets important policy and shapes the Hill Country, particularly when it comes to night skies and outdoor lighting. As always, voting is the only way to make sure your voice is heard! Access voting methods and instructions here 

Read More
Plan to dim Field of Dreams light pollution

Plan to dim Field of Dreams light pollution

Following years of complaints from residents living near the Lake Travis Youth Association’s “Field of Dreams” about bright lights shining into their homes, the association has come up with a 10-year, $1.2 million plan that will address neighbors’ concerns while still allowing young athletes to use the fields in the evening. The sports complex at 13909 W. Texas 71 includes several baseball, softball and soccer fields on about 19.5 acres of land in Bee Cave. A combination of permanent and…

Read More
Reduce electricity waste with proper outdoor lighting

Reduce electricity waste with proper outdoor lighting

We all know the stars at night are big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas. But keeping the night skies dark so we can continue to enjoy the stars requires some extra effort and mindfulness. Outdoor lighting has important applications, such as keeping our outdoor spaces safe and usable at night. But it can easily result in wasted energy that creates sky glow, dimming the starry night sky for everyone. This light, and the electricity used to create…

Read More