We all live in a single planet surrounded by a huge Universe. Our only contact with this Universe is the night sky. The night sky is a window to our place in the Universe, a window to our Solar System and to our Galaxy, the Milky Way. Indeed the night sky has no borders, and tell us many stories about ourselves.
Our only home is this planet! Both day and night belong to this planet. Many creatures live and thrive at night, and find it very distressfull that we human illuminate their nights. Indeed, the night is full of life, as many plants, birds, turtles and even the plankton use the dark of the night to develop or implement different functions of their normal existence.
The beauty of the night sky has inspired painters, musicians, poets…
Our window to the night sky is however getting more and more opaque, as we are progressively illuminating the night sky. A recent report of the US NOAA claim the the Milky way is no longer visible for 80% of the US population. And in places like Hong Kong, Singapore or South Korea light pollution is dead blocking the night sky from view.
This meeting is all about the darkness of the night sky, is about how to protect it. This meeting is about preserving the night sky, for Astronomy, for the Environment, for the Culture, for beauty, for all the People…
It's been 10 years since the La Palma Starlight Declaration that did indeed signal a new era in our relation with the night sky. 10 years ago we had a conference that resulted in the Starlight Declaration. This historical declaration was an important step to preserve the skies and defend the cultural and environmental values associated with astronomical observations. Since then there have been clear advances, but also shortcomings. It is now time to review both and produce new ideas and strategies for advancing in our quest for preserving the skies dark.
We invite all concerned people, astronomers, biologists, historians, educators, technical people from the illumination industry, people in charge of observatories, people who care about the night sky, to come to La Palma and join us in this meeting. A meeting to celebrate the wonders of the night sky.