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The Importance Of Dark Skies

The importance of dark skies

Lost in the forest until nightfall, a young child faces his fears and learns how nature flourishes in darkness in the latest book from Shearer Publishing, based in Fredericksburg. The children’s book, “Who Loves the Dark? Why Nature Loves and Needs Dark Skies” brought to life by author Sheri Phillabaum and illustrator Liz Painter was created to introduce young people to the value of dark skies. Read more from Madalyn Watson with Fredericksburg Standard here.

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Inside The McDonald Observatory’s Mission To Preserve The Darkest Skies In West Texas

Inside the McDonald Observatory’s mission to preserve the darkest skies in West Texas

Bill Wren remembers the night sky rising like wallpaper above him when he was a child in rural Missouri. But after a move to Houston in 1970 when he was 15, lights from the city’s sprawl obscured all but a few stars. It wasn’t until he was 21 years old, on a camping trip to West Texas’ Davis Mountains State Park, that he flashed back to the Missouri skies of his childhood. Staring at a starry mass running to the…

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Jupiter And Saturn Head For Closest Visible Alignment In 800 Years

Jupiter and Saturn head for closest visible alignment in 800 years

Jupiter and Saturn head for closest visible alignment in 800 years On Dec. 21, Jupiter and Saturn will appear to be no more than a dime’s width apart in the night sky. The last time that could be seen was in 1226. For months, Saturn and Jupiter have appeared to be courting, as the giant celestial bodies have gradually drawn nearer in the night sky. Over the next two weeks, as their orbits align more closely, the planets will pull…

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JTEDC Board Approves Night Skies Lighting Grant

JTEDC Board approves night skies lighting grant

JTEDC Board approves night skies lighting grant Board receives report on coalition of businesses The Board of the Junction Texas Economic Development Corporation (JTEDC) held its monthly meeting on December 1 and addressed two applications from businesses for a grant for night skies friendly light fixtures, a strategic planning session, and routine administrative matters.  The board also received a report on efforts by the Coalition of 21 Businesses to attract shoppers to Junction. Board members present were Kimberlee Gosney, Carol…

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Texas Community A Shining Example Of Coexisting With Dark Skies

Texas community a shining example of coexisting with dark skies

A dark sky is important – it maintains wildlife and keeps the world’s eco-system balanced. Without it, everything is thrown off. Light pollution has even been linked to negative consequences for human health. As we told you last night, generations are growing up having never seen the Milky Way. Just 20-percent of the world’s population have seen it. That’s why efforts are being made to change that reality. Texas state and national parks are working to earn a dark skies…

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Annette Lee To Present Keynote At 2020 Global Conference

Annette Lee to present keynote at 2020 global conference

We are very pleased to announce that Annette Lee will be a keynote speaker at the International Dark-Sky Association 2020 Global Conference. The virtual conference will take place on November 13-14. Sessions will happen across the 24 hour period in three time zones. Annette’s keynote discussion will set the stage for a worldwide conversation about the environmental and cultural threat that light pollution poses to people who have been inadequately represented in the effort to protect the night. The conference…

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Blanco County Friends Of The Night Sky Market Day

Blanco County Friends of the Night Sky Market Day

As part of the Hill Country Night Sky Month of October, Blanco County Friends of the Night Sky (BCFNS) volunteers staff a tent chock full of information about night sky preservation and light pollution abatement at the October 17 Blanco Market Day. Volunteers pictured are (l to r) David Loose, Elizabeth Miller, and Vicki Guidry, the organization’s vice-president. The BCFNS has grown to over 100 members and has helped spawn similar groups in seven other Hill Country counties. Those wanting…

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County Still Eyeing Ways To Gain Development Control

County still eyeing ways to gain development control

County officials said they actively are working with state legislators to enact changes that would return some control over development to the local level. Precinct 2 Commissioner Richard Elkins is working with Kendall County Development Engineer Mary Ellen Schulle to fine-tune the language they would like District 73 State Rep. Kyle Biedermann to take with him to the legislative session in January, or whoever wins that seat in the November election. The submission process at the state level begins in…

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October Proclaimed “Hill Country Night Sky Month”

October proclaimed “Hill Country Night Sky Month”

Kerrville Mayor Bill Blackburn read a proclamation at the Oct. 13 city council meeting declaring October as Hill Country Night Sky Month in recognition of local efforts to “preserve the rich historic heritage and starry night skies of Kerrville” by “solving the problem of light pollution." Joining Blackburn (far right in photo) for the proclamation were, from left: Bruce E. Barton (President, Hill Country Astronomers), Debbie Thompson (Kerr County Friends of the Night Sky), Barbara Oates (President, Riverside Nature Center),…

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Two Groups Encourage ‘lights Out’ For Human And Bird Benefits

Two groups encourage ‘lights out’ for human and bird benefits

Two organizations are encouraging Highland Lakes residents to go as dark as possible every night through October. The Texas Conservation Alliance is recognizing Lights Out, Texas! from Sept. 5 through Oct. 29, while the Hill Country Alliance designates October as Hill Country Night Sky Month. The main idea for both is to encourage residents and business owners to dim outside lights, and those visible from outside. This simple act can save money, improve human life, keep the Milky Way visible,…

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