The Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias is taking part in the workshop "Dark and Calm Skies for the present and future of Astronomy", which will be held in Brussels on Monday 10 July. The aim of the workshop is to present the current situation, needs and challenges of this area of science; to show the work carried out by the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), part of the United Nations General Assembly; and to analyse the perspective of the EU's space policy.
The increase in light pollution and satellite constellations is one of the first issues to be discussed by Spain after receiving the Council of the European Union presidency.
Astronomical observations have provided humanity with invaluable knowledge. Today, dozens of state-of-the-art observatories around the world explore the electromagnetic spectrum, retrieving fundamental information to better understand the universe and our place in it. Accurate measurements from Earth are only possible under dark, calm skies. However, the current and future exploitation of space, mainly through satellite constellations, threatens the future of astronomy due to the intense light pollution and radio frequency interference they produce.
In order to control the exponential increase of satellites in orbit in the coming years and moderate its impact on Astronomy, the Permanent Representation of Spain to the European Union (REPER) is organising a workshop with the participation of the Deputy Director of the IAC, Casiana Muñoz Tuñón, who will speak on the need to regulate outer space. Francisco Colomer Sanmartín (Ministry of Science and Innovation), José Manuel Ramírez Arrazola (Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Delegation to the United Nations - Vienna) and Christoph Kautz (Directorate-General for Defence Industry and Space of the European Commission) will also take part in this meeting, aimed at representatives of the countries in the research and space working groups of the Council of the European Union and, in general, agents of the space and astronomy sector.
Even though the conference planned by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) for celebration in La Palma has been postponed until mid-April 2021, the meeting is being held on-line from 5th to 9th October. In this workshop we will discuss a reference document for governments, city councils and companies so that they have a legal and technical basis to avoid the possible negative impact of the new technologies on the observation of the night sky and on biodiversity. Link to the programme: http://research.iac.es/congreso/quietdarksky2020/pages/program.php For thousands of years the
This week the Ambassadors, permanent representatives at the International Organizations with headquarters in Vienna, of Spain, Esther Monterrubio, and of Paraguay, Juan Francisco Facetti, were shown the installations of the IAC. During their stay they visited some of the scientific infrastructures of the Canary Islands Observatories (OCAN) and showed interest in the projects being developed there. Among the various duties of these two permanent Ambassadors is that of representing their countries in the United Nations Commission on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) and its two
Between 3rd and 8th October the Conference “Dark and Quiet Skies for Science and Society” will be held in La Palma. It will convene a small group of specialists from throughout the world to suggest solutions to the problems facing Astronomy and citizens in general due to the increase of artificial lighting, the increase in radio signals produced by technological development, and the impact of the recent satellite constellations. Question: What is the objective of this Conference? Reply: In October 2020 the International Astronomical Union (IAU) together with the United Nations’ Office for
After a week of intense work, with the participation of almost a thousand researchers from all over the world, the online workshop “Dark and quiet skies for science and society” has finished. For five days work has proceded on the preparation of a document which can offer governments, city councils, and companies the legal and technical basis for avoiding the possible negative impact of the newest technology on the observation of the night sky, and on biodiversity.
“Astronomical observations have to be protected against light pollution. Only in this way will we be able to see the Universe at at the very beginning”. This was the start of the talk by Casiana Muñoz-Tuñón, Deputy Director of the IAC and one of the organizers of the workshop “Dark and quiet skies for science and society” which is being celebrated on line from October 5th to 9th. Muñoz-Tuñón reminded us that the further back in time we want to reach, the further away we need to look. “For that reason the light which reaches us is very faint. We need dark skies to be able to detect and study
Since millennia the silent and ordered beauty of the night sky has inspired humankind in all its intellectual and emotional expressions: poetry, philosophy, religion and science. In particular, modern