IDA eNews: Night Watch January 2012
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06 January 2011 - Volume 4, Issue 1'Dark Sky' Makes the New York Times 2011 Word List
By Grant Barrett, New York Times, 31 December 2011
DARK SKY Designates a place free of nighttime light pollution. For example, the island of Sark in the English Channel is a dark-sky island.IDA in the News
Photo by Liane EhrichBy Liane Ehrich, Tucson Outdoor Recreation Examiner - AZ, USA, 03 January 2012The week of January 14-23 Globe at Night will be assessing the night sky all over the world. Any one can participate, in 2011 they recorded 14,249 observations across the world. The US accounted for half of the counts, and 10% came from Arizona. Tucson and Flagstaff cannot do it alone, Phoenix has to get more involved, and lighting can be smarter at very little cost. In downtown Phoenix look up at the night sky, even on clear nights, stars are faint, obscured by a pervasive orange glow (visible too from the back of the Catalinas at night) ...By Estel Grace Masangkay, The Environmental Blog (blog)- 10 December 2011 Light pollution is "any adverse effect of artificial light including sky glow, glare, light trespass, light clutter, decreased visibility at night, and energy waste" as defined by the International Dark-Sky Association...By Sean Murphy, ChicoER - CA, USA, 09 December 2011 With shorter days and fewer daylight hours upon us, we'll increasingly depend on outdoor lighting. But it appears we're approaching a tipping point for too much night lighting. It's called light pollution, and it's beginning to show its ill effects around the world - or at least where lights dominate, or even dot, the nightscape. And this isn't a purist thing - it's a nature thing...Time to Count Stars!GLOBE at Night Kickoff: Seeing the Light (365 Days of Astronomy Podcast)To provide opportunities for public involvement in dark skies preservation and energy conservation, we invite the public to participate in the GLOBE at Night campaign...
2012 IDA Board of DirectorsTim Hunter - PresidentMartin Morgan-Taylor - VP
Chris Monrad - Treasurer
J. Kelly Beatty - Secretary
"The City Dark" Comes to Tucson
IDA proudly announces the special screening of The City Dark in partnership with The Loft Cinema, Tucson's nonprofit, independent theater, on 24 January.
Q & A with TCD director Ian Cheney after the film!
Go to The City Dark website for a list of screenings, including TCD's theatrical release in New York City on 18 January!Thank You For Voting to Help IDA Refresh the Night Sky!
The Pepsi Refresh project voting is complete. We unfortunately did not get funded, but thanks to all who voted for the Suburban Outreach Sites Project. We got great ideas and lots of positive feedback. IDA will continue to seek funding to make the project a reality.
Night Sky Protection
Photo courtesy of Harbor Light News
By Kate Bassett, Harbor Light News - MI, USA, 04 January 2012
In this Q&A, we honor both the community's night sky, and a local resident who has worked tirelessly to protect and celebrate it. Mary Adams is a storyteller, a star gazer, and a teacher, and her work to have Emmet County's Headlands in Mackinaw City designated as an International Dark Sky Park brings the promise of night sky preservation for generations to come...
By Sean McLachlan - The Huffington Post (via Gadling),
14 December 2011
The Isle of Sark, one of the Channel Islands, has decided to become the place to go for skygazers. Early this year it was named the world's first Dark Sky Island by the International Dark-Sky Association. The little island, with a population of only about 600, decided to put itself on the map by altering their lighting to reduce what astronomers call "light pollution". It helped that there are no streetlights, cars, or paved roads on Sark...
By Patrick Whitehurst, Red Rock News - AZ, USA 13 December 2011
Flagstaff is designated one and it may only be a matter of time before Sedona is called a dark skies community as well. A group of individuals have been working on an application process to add Sedona to the list of dark sky compliant cities. The group's co-chairwoman, Bobbie Surber, said approval of the application would add Sedona to the International Dark Sky Association...
Galloway Gazette - Scotland, UK, 12 December 2001
The Dark Sky Observatory project for Craigengillan Estate, near the Galloway/Ayrhsire border, has been awarded just under £90,000 from the Coalfields Regeneration Trust. The Galloway Forest Park was designated as a Dark Sky Park by the International Dark Sky Association in November 2009 and is the first such designation in the United Kingdom and only the second in Europe. The observatory will be sited at Loch Doon within the boundary of the Galloway Forest Park...
Canada's Dark Sky Preserves
By Katharine Fletcher, Calgary Herald - Alberta, Canada, 01 December 2011
Indeed, in March, Jasper National Park won designation as an international Dark Sky Preserve (DSP) which, at 11,228 square kilometres, is the largest in the world. DSPs are areas designated by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) where artificial light pollution is low enough to allow unimpeded astronomical observation of the heavens. In addition, DSPs must offer infrastructure so people can observe the night sky...
Star Counts Worldwide
By Suchant Kulkarni, Express India - India, 23 December 2011
The data from an ongoing study by a city-based astronomy club, Khagol Vishwa, has shown that light pollution, or excessive artificial light which prevents a clear view of a naturally starlit skies, in Pune has gone up by three times in a decade. The Department of Environment of Pune University has now joined hands with the group to take the project further and study its environmental impact. As a part of the project, called Star Count, the brightness of even the faintest stars in and around the city will be measured as an indicator of the light pollution in the night sky...
Marbella Spanje Spain - Spain, 23 December 2011 The night skies that our ancestors have taken for granted for millions of years are disappearing before our very eyes. According to the International Dark Sky association, a child born today in either Europe or the US has only a one in ten chance of witnessing a truly dark sky...
By Chris Hill, EDP24 - Norfolk, UK, 28 December 2011
The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has joined forces with the British Astronomical Association's Campaign for Dark Skies to run Star Count Week from January 20 to 27. The project asks people to count the number of stars within the Orion constellation on a clear night, with fewer stars likely to be visible from brightly-lit vantage points...
Volunteers rescued thousands of grebes from a Wal Mart parking lot. Getty Images
Associated Press, New York Times - 14 December 2011
Thousands of migratory birds were killed or injured this week after apparently mistaking a Wal-Mart parking lot, football fields and other snow-covered areas of southern Utah for bodies of water and plummeting to the ground, wildlife experts said Wednesday. Crews went to work cleaning up the dead birds and rescuing the injured survivors after the creatures crash-landed in the St. George area Monday night...
Safe and Sound
View - Dorset County, UK, 08 December 2011
Inspector Fry replied that in response to these concerns, he had requested research be carried out for the period June 1st - November 16th, both for this year and last, to draw a comparison between the two. Inspecter Fry said he was pleased to report that this analytic work showed a decrease in night-time crime, with only 176 reported cases this year as opposed to 203 during the same period last year. He said: "I have seen nothing to make me feel that having the lights on would have made any difference. And anti social behaviour has also reduced by around five per cent, again during the same period...
Night Sky Protection
By Sophie Cooke, Honolulu Civil Beat - HI, USA, 03 January 2011
The problem of light pollution has taken on enough weight that in 2009, state lawmakers created a task force to combat it. Led by Wainscoat, the state's Starlight Reserve Committee has been working for two years to curb the state's lighting issues. But it's unlikely that the work of the 14-member committee will have much of an impact anytime soon if the city of Honolulu doesn't step up and help, scientists say. Honolulu's efforts have trailed those of the state's other counties, and as the glow from the city gets brighter, scientists fret...
By Cheryl Ernst, University of Hawaii News - HI, USA 27 December 2011 Institute for Astronomy resident expert on light pollution Richard Wainscoat will join award winning filmmaker Ian Cheney for a discussion following a free premiere of "The City Dark."...
By Susan Andrew, Mountiain Express - NC, USA, 02 January 2012
The local Sierra Club will present "Dark Skies," a program by Bernie Arghiere, president of Asheville's Astronomy Club, and constructor of two private observatories in our region, who will discuss Buncombe County's proposed lighting ordinances, to be voted on Jan. 17 by Buncombe County Commissioners. Bernie will explain what we can do to encourage the county to pass good ordinances. He will conclude with fun slides of Asheville's night sky in January, 2012...
By Louis Tam, Cottage Country Now - Ontario, Canada, 21 December 2011
Following in the footsteps of their neighbours to the south, Muskoka Lakes is pondering the possibility of setting up its own bylaw to limit light pollution. A discussion on establishing a dark sky bylaw was held at a committee of the whole meeting last week, with Coun. Ruth-Ellen Nishikawa voicing support for the idea...
Delivering Data (blog) - Barcelona, Spain, 4 December 2011
What's the problem with light pollution? After thousands of years living in the dark, electricity allows us to have as much light as we need, and even more, to the point that some people complain of the poorer lighting in some cities, especially in newly-rich countries like Spain. Lately, letters to the editor of most newspapers in Barcelona are about the "poor lighting" in the streets, revealing that we are not aware of the consequences of over-illumination...
Dark Sky Comment
By Tom Weilland (Opinion), pantagraph.com - IL, USA, 22 December 2011 I am writing in regard to The Pantagraph article, "Fancy lighting a Tanner St. feature." As a representative of Twin City Amateur Astronomers, I would like to share two concerns regarding the design and intensity of the lighting featured in this story. First and foremost, we certainly understand the need for adequate lighting to provide for public safety and security; however, we believe these needs can be met without wastefully flooding the neighborhood and sky with unnecessary light...
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