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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Austin’s quaintest neighbor aims to become 3rd Texas city to earn dark sky status

Austin’s quaintest neighbor aims to become 3rd Texas city to earn dark sky status

Only two Texas cities currently hold the coveted “dark sky status,” as designated by the International Dark-Sky Association. But Horseshoe Bay and Dripping Springs could soon be joined by forever-small town Fredericksburg. If Fredericksburg has anything to say about it, that is. According to KSAT, the town, known as much for its peaches as it is its sweet hospitality, is actively looking to earn itself dark sky status. In an effort to cut down on its light pollution while working toward…

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Tucson, Arizona, U.S. Skyglow Reduced 7% after Street Light Conversion

Tucson, Arizona, U.S. Skyglow Reduced 7% after Street Light Conversion

John Barentine, Director of Conservation at the International Dark-Sky Association, is the lead author of a recent study published online by the Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer. Although Barentine has previously published papers in the field of astronomy, this is his first in the field of light pollution studies. Working with students and a scientist from the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, Barentine used a 2014 dataset that was compiled for other purposes to measure the change in skyglow in…

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Fredericksburg one step closer to becoming Dark-Sky community

Fredericksburg one step closer to becoming Dark-Sky community

“Nearly 80 percent of the United States can no longer see the Milky Way,” Ken Kattner, an amateur astronomer and president of International Dark-Sky Association, said. Light pollution remains an ever-radiating problem for not only the United States, but many parts of the world. “Let’s do something about it now before it gets worse,” Kattner said. Also a Houston attorney, Kattner owns an observatory in Fredericksburg. Like several other towns in the Texas Hill Country, Fredericksburg is looking to cut down…

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IN THE GARDEN: Pesky Pests; Repel and Attract; and Dark Sky Lighting

IN THE GARDEN: Pesky Pests; Repel and Attract; and Dark Sky Lighting

Ben Eldredge of Cibolo Nature Center eloquently explains the importance of dark sky lighting: “Our stars are fading behind a vail of light. As communities grow, the amount of light grows with them, casting more light into our atmosphere. This light interacts with particles in the atmosphere, bouncing light back to the planet’s surface. “Eventually, all but the brightest stars become obscured from view. This effect is called ‘light pollution,’ and, besides blocking our view of the universe, it also disrupts people’s…

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US National Park Rangers Look to the Stars with Skywatching Training Program

US National Park Rangers Look to the Stars with Skywatching Training Program

  • March 23, 2018
  • News

The U.S. National Park Service (NPS) has partnered with the McDonald Observatoryto create training programs for park rangers and improve skywatching events. The observatory, which is run by the University of Texas at Austin, will offer two workshops for national park rangers. One of the workshops will be offered in the spring at McDonald Observatory, while the second will be offered on-site at a U.S. national park, according to a statement from the observatory… Read more from space.com

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Pioneers Taking on “Dark Sky” Project

Pioneers Taking on “Dark Sky” Project

  • March 23, 2018
  • News

In Mason, the students of the Pioneers Youth Leadership program have taken on Dark Sky Preservation as a focus for sharpening their leadership skills in their community. Working with their teacher Megan Bierschwale, Hill Country Alliance (HCA) Night Sky Program Manager Cliff Kaplan, and HCA Night Sky volunteer and Texas Master Naturalist Bridget Langdale, these students will write newspaper articles, give public presentations, host public star parties, improve the outdoor lighting at their school, and help business owners similarly improve…

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Pioneers Taking on “Dark Sky” Project

Pioneers Taking on “Dark Sky” Project

  • March 15, 2018
  • News

In Mason, the students of the Pioneers Youth Leadership program have taken on Dark Sky Preservation as a focus for sharpening their leadership skills in their community. Working with their teacher Megan Bierschwale, Hill Country Alliance (HCA) Night Sky Program Manager Cliff Kaplan, and HCA Night Sky volunteer and Texas Master Naturalist Bridget Langdale, these students will write newspaper articles, give public presentations, host public star parties, improve the outdoor lighting at their school, and help business owners similarly improve…

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