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New Law To Allow More Texas Cities To Become Dark Sky Communities

New law to allow more Texas cities to become Dark Sky communities

A new Texas law will make it easier for communities to pursue International Dark Sky designations. Texas Senate Bill 1090, authored by state Sen. Dawn Buckingham (R-Lakeway) and state Rep. Andrew Murr (R-Kerrville), was signed into law on Monday, June 14, by Gov. Greg Abbott. Effective immediately, the legislation allows communities to take the necessary steps in order to protect their night skies, according to Scenic Texas, which announced the bill’s passage in a news release. The nonprofit organization’s mission is to preserve…

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Blanco County Students Paint For The Stars

Blanco County students paint for the stars

The Blanco County Friends of the Night Sky (BCFNS) last week concluded its 2021 Night Sky Art Contest for students at the high schools and middle schools in both Blanco and Johnson City. The contest, whose theme was “Discover the Night – Deep in the Dark of Texas™,” drew entries from 126 students. Two sets of cash prizes ranging from $100 to $10 were awarded. “We were excited to once again challenge these very talented students to express their love…

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‘Lights Out’: Austin Businesses To Turn Off Lights Overnight To Save Migrating Birds

‘Lights Out’: Austin businesses to turn off lights overnight to save migrating birds

On Tuesday, the Travis County Commissioners Court voted to approve an effort to get Travis County residents and businesses to turn off some of their lights to help save birds’ lives. The statewide initiative asks residents and businesses to turn off non-essential lights from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. during the peak bird migration period, Monday, April 19, 2021 through Friday, May 7, 2021. Read more from KVUE here. 

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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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