Posts Tagged ‘dark sky’

New Mexican Skies Protected With Dark Sky Park Designation

August 28, 2013 Leave a comment

"Milky Way, Fajada Butte" by Stan Honda

“Milky Way, Fajada Butte” by Stan Honda

The 34,000-acre Chaco Culture National Historical Park is home to many ancient wonders including the remains of a civilization that thrived over 1,000 years ago. The park, which has been protecting its archaeological riches since it was established in 1907, is now protecting its views of the starry skies too. It has just been named as the International Dark-Sky Associationʼs newest Dark Sky Park.

“Once the night sky was something that was very much a part of the human experience at Chaco and around the globe,” says IDA Executive Director Bob Parks. “We are delighted that Chaco is now preserving the nighttime environment alongside their historic treasures.”

As a Gold-tier IDA Dark Sky Park, Chaco has shown its commitment to preserving its near-pristine night skies. The park has adopted a set of strict lighting guidelines that include the use of dark-sky friendly lighting now and in the future, ensuring that it will do its part to keep the nighttime environment natural and unspoiled for generations to come.

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NASA-NOAA Satellite Reveals New Views Of Earth At Night

December 9, 2012 Leave a comment

Continental United States at night. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory/NOAA NGDC

Continental United States at night. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory/NOAA NGDC

Scientists unveiled today an unprecedented new look at our planet at night. A global composite image, constructed using cloud-free night images from a new NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellite, shows the glow of natural and human-built phenomena across the planet in greater detail than ever before.

Many satellites are equipped to look at Earth during the day, when they can observe our planet fully illuminated by the sun. With a new sensor aboard the NASA-NOAA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite launched last year, scientists now can observe Earth’s atmosphere and surface during nighttime hours.

The new sensor, the day-night band of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), is sensitive enough to detect the nocturnal glow produced by Earth’s atmosphere and the light from a single ship in the sea. Satellites in the U.S. Defense Meteorological Satellite Program have been making observations with low-light sensors for 40 years. But the VIIRS day-night band can better detect and resolve Earth’s night lights.

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Realated International Dark-Sky Association Story:

POV’s ‘The City Dark’ Asks, ‘Do We Need The Stars?’ Thursday, July 5, 2012 On PBS

The Advance of Electric Light Has Sent Nighttime into Retreat, With Astonishing Effects On Humans and Wildlife.

“A documentary about light pollution that is entertaining and thought-provoking? It hardly seems possible, but that’s what Ian Cheney has made in The City Dark. . . . This film makes you want to go find a starry sky to camp under quickly, before it’s all gone.” — Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times

The town in rural Maine where Ian Cheney spent much of his childhood has about 4,000 residents. Waldoboro had electric lights, but on a cloudless and moonless night, it was impossible not to be struck by the incredible array of stars visible above.

But when Cheney moved to New York City, his familiar world of light and dark was upended. In this metropolis, light was everywhere —but starlight was much harder to find.

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Pinpointing Stargazing Sites for More Eyes

October 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Communities across England will have a twinkle in their eye and get a big environmental and educational boost thanks to Dark Sky Discovery– a pioneering new national and regional partnership of astronomy and environmental organisations led by the Science and Technology Facilities Council.

A £176.8k grant, funded by the Big Lottery Fund and awarded through Natural England’s Access to Nature programme, will support a 2-year programme to inspire people of all ages and backgrounds to come together in their local area and enjoy the night sky in a radically new way.

Working with astronomy, environmental and community organisations in every English region, the aim is to involve people in identifying safe, accessible ‘Dark Sky Discovery Sites’ – places in urban and rural areas where they can take part in stimulating stargazing sessions. A series of Dark Sky Discovery Sites has been unveiled in England – and also in Wales and Scotland – illustrating the range of great local spots that people can use for stargazing.

Project Leader Dan Hillier, based at the STFC’s Royal Observatory Edinburgh site, says: “In every community there is somewhere that is the best place to see the stars.  Even in towns and cities, there are places such as local parks where people can enjoy the wonders of the night sky, from planets to meteor showers. This project will find ways of helping people from a whole range of different backgrounds – such as schools, community and special needs groups, to discover the universe that is just beyond their doorstep.”

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