WHY: 2015 has been named by the United Nations as the International Year of Light (light2015.org). Light has had many obvious benefits for human mankind, but it also poses some relevant threats: the everyday-increasing excess of light thrown by humans to the sky seriously threatens to remove forever one of humanity’s natural wonders, the view of our universe. More importantly, it has also an adverse impact on our environment and economy (energy wasted to the sky costs 2 billion US$ per year in the USA and 6,3 billion € per year in Europe) and on the health of hundreds of species, including pathologies in human beings (e.g., stress, insomnia). Many professional and amateur scientists are already fighting against light pollution. However, it is necessary to increase social awareness about the importance of preserving the darkness of our cities and environment. WHAT: STARS4ALL will create an Light Pollution Initiative (LPI) incubation platform that will allow generating (and maintaining) customizable on-demand domain-focused LPIs (e.g., a light pollution working group in Brussels). The platform will be self-sustainable: it will integrate a crowdfunding tool to obtain funding for the LPIs; it will consider incentives that motivate citizens to participate in LPIs, as well as policies to handle those incentives; and it will provide innovations in data acquisition from sensors deployed by citizens and in games with a purpose. HOW: STARS4ALL will initially deploy 10 LPIs, which will be available by the end of the 1st semester of project execution, and will be operating and creating collective awareness during the rest of the project. At that moment we pave the way the creation of other LPIs by citizens, specially in other disciplines such as Energy Saving, Biodiversity, and Human Health, and will organize open competitions among them.
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A recent study analyses data collected at 44 of the darkest places in the world, including the Canary Island Observatories, to develop the first complete reference method to measure the natural brightness of the night sky using low-cost photometers. Of the 44 photometers in the survey, the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (Garafía, La Palma, Canary Islands) stands out at the darkest of all the skies analysed. The night sky is not completely dark; even in the remotest places there is a glow in the sky produced by natural components, both terrestrial and extraterrestrial, and by artificialAdvertised on
World experts prepare the first report for the United Nations on regulation of light pollution and mitigating the impact of satellite constellations
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.Advertised on
Initiation of the European project EELabs. The recent visit of the Mayor of Gúímar to the Teide Observatory sees the start of the Energy Efficiency Laboratories project, coordinated by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, for the protection of night-time ecosystems through energy efficiency.Advertised on