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The latest issue of the Newsletter is below.

August, 2015

Globe at Night Newsletter

So far in 2015, we have received over 16,600 measurements from 93 countries! This year is Globe at Night’s 10-year anniversary! Can we make it to 20,000 measurements by the end of the year?

Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more dark skies news and Globe at Night Spotlights.

Topics in this month’s newsletter:

Upcoming 2015 Campaign Dates

Cygnus
Northern Hemisphere
Cygnus: August 5-14
Read about the myth of the Cygnus constellation, the swan.

Sagittarius
Southern Hemisphere
Sagittarius : August 5-14
Read about the myth of the Sagittarius constellation, a centaur.

Globe at Night Spotlight

Our spotlight(s) for this month are the over 20 cities and counties in the U.S. state of Texas that have adopted dark-sky ordinances for outdoor lighting. Some other cities, such as Houston, have embarked on projects to convert thousands of streetlights to light-emitting diodes (LED’s) in and effort to use less electricity, replace bulbs less often, and produce less light pollution then previous lighting. Cities are interested in the economic benefits of such changes, in addition to dark sky preservation! Great progress Texas! We love to see communities come together to help protect the night sky! Notably, the city Dripping Springs, about 25 miles west of Austin, became the first Texas city to earn the highest night-sky rating from the International Dark Sky Association (IDA). Dripping Springs has ordinances on the lumens (e.g., brightness)-per-acre allowed for outdoor lighting and requires all outdoor lights to be shielded – directing the light downwards and minimizing the sky glow! Great job Texas. Keep up the good work!

Find out more about the changes being implemented. Or check out the Texas Section of the IDA to learn more about the various light ordinances.

The light pollution from cities spills over into the Texas Hill Country. Photo courtesy of McDonald Observatory.

Exceptional Data Points

Texas, USA

Dallas, Texas, USA

Check out these measurements that were taken in Texas in the United States in 2015! In July alone, the state of Texas added over 100 data points, due in part to a number of data points collected in Dallas during the July campaign. Texas has contributed a total of 900 data points during 2015. Awesome job contributing data points, Texas! Keep up the good work!

“Over 100” Club 2015 Update

Did you know that there is a Globe at Night “Over 100” club for countries and for states in the U.S.A.? If your country or state submits over 100 Globe at Night measurements in 2015, you’re in the club!

Our “Over 100” Club members for this month include: United States (5218), Croatia (2219), South Korea (1560), Uruguay (1348), Poland (782), Chile (546), Japan (555), United Kingdom (355), Spain (390), Germany (254), France (226), Canada (228), Australia (140), Puerto Rico (131), Macedonia (112), Costa Rica (111), Italy (100)

Our “Over 100” Club members for states in the U.S.A. include: Michigan (1649), Texas (900), California (568), Arizona (493), Colorado (166), and Oregon (130).

Good job 2015 “Over 100” Club members! Keep up the great work!

Globe at Night Podcast

Dark Sky Crusader logo

Did you know that we have a Globe at Night podcast on the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast? Will the Dark Night be able to protect our dark skies from light pollution? Find out by listening to the latest Globe at Night podcast, aired on August 1, as our light pollution heroes help a Florida, USA classroom save sea turtles at the local beach!

Google Hangout Session on Light Pollution and Safety

There was another wonderful Google+ Hangout on Air session on July 21, discussing light pollution and safety, in honor of the International Year of Light. The session was hosted by IDA Board Members, Kelly Beatty and Connie Walker, and starring noted lighting designer, Nancy Clanton, and IDA Board Member, Leo Smith. Watch the session here to learn more about light pollution and safety and keep up with what’s happening during the International Year of Light. Tune in on August 27 at 17:00 UT for the next IDA/IYL Google+ Hangout on Air on Light Pollution and Wildlife with light pollution researchers, Travis Longcore and Andreas Haenel, hosted by IDA Board Members, Kelly Beatty and Connie Walker.

Gloabl light pollution map Image Credit: DarkSiteFinder.com

Globe at Night Call-To-Action

Call to action map

Ever wonder what happens to your Globe at Night measurements once you’ve submitted them? Both scientists and citizen-scientists have used them in a variety of projects. Most projects need however multiple data points at the same location over time. This map shows 5,000 locations on Earth where someone made an observation in the past but there hasn’t been a new observation within the last five years. If you can make an observation near to one of these points (or if you have a friend who lives close to one of them), it would be extremely helpful. Also, try taking measurements where no data points have been taken yet!

2015 Globe at Night Challenge

In 2014, global citizens contributed over 20,000 data points to Globe at Night’s light pollution campaign! We challenge you to beat that number for 2015! So far we have reached 13,740 observations. To reach our goal of over 20,000 by the end of the year, we challenge you to surpass 1000 data points every month! Do your part, as a citizen scientist, to help us reach our data goal and participate in the upcoming 2015 Globe at Night Campaigns. The campaigns will be:

Earth at Night

  • August 5-14
  • September 3-12
  • October 3-12
  • November 2-11
  • December 2-11

The 2015 International Earth and Sky Photo Contest Winners

The winners of the 2015 International Earth and Sky Photo Contest have been announced! The winners were announced on June 16th, and they are spectacular! You can see the photos that won the top spots in the two categories “Beauty of the Night Sky” and “Against the Lights” here. The contest was part of collaboration between The World at Night, the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, and Astronomers Without Borders. The entries this year included around 1,000 fantastic photos from 54 countries. Wonderful job to everyone who participated in the photo contest! In addition to the category winners, there are 70 honorable mentions, which can be seen in this video. You don’t want to miss these awe-inspiring images!

The Dome“The Dome” by Sigurdur William Brynjarsson is one of the winners in the Beauty of the Night Sky category.

Strolls in the Star Rover“Strolls in the Star Rover” by Caren Zhao of China is one of the winners of the Beauty of Night Sky category.

Holland receives its First International Dark Sky Park

The Netherlands is known as one of the most light-polluted countries in the world. They have taken an important step in preserving the night sky by designating a 40 square km site on the Dutch island Terschelling as the first Dark Sky Park, De Boschplaat, in the country! Conservation efforts have not only protected the skies over De Boschplaat, but have also helped protect the habitat, which is very important for migrating birds and other light-sensitive wildlife. De Boschplaat is designated a Silver Tier Dark Sky Park by the International Dark Sky Association (IDA).

De Boschplaat, Netherlands Milky Way and Gegenschein over de Boschplaat

De Boschplaat, Netherlands De Boschplaat, Netherlands. Photo by Wim Schmidt.

Protecting Glacier National Park Dark Skies

Chief Mountain Orange lights of Babb illuminate clouds as the Milky Way is visible above Chief Mountain. Courtesy John Ashley

Distant light pollution has slowly begun to encroach on the formerly pristine dark skies of Glacier National Park. To the west, light pollution form Flathead Valley has been sneaking over the horizon the last few decades. The same can be said to the North of Lake McDonald, where lights from Alberta glow. Despite this, the dark skies of Glaceir National Park remain spectacular, some of the darkest in the world. The US National Park Service and their Canadian counterpart are working together to create the first international transboundary dark sky preserve with Glacier National Park of the US and Waterton park in Canada. Read more on the great work being done to protect the dark skies of Glacier National Park.

International Astronomical Union General Assembly 2015

Issues surrounding the preservation of dark skies will be a focus during the second week (August 9-14) of the International Astronomical Union’s (IAU) General Assembly (GA) taking place in Honolulu, Hawaii. If you are planning on attending the IAU GA, here are some events related to light pollution awareness to consider.

Star Trails over Kitt Peak Star Trails over Kitt Peak. Photo Credit: James Lowenthal (Smith College)

  1. International Year of Light Lectures
    This event is Sunday, August 9 at 5pm, as a part of the IAU Day. The event will occur in Bishop Museum’s Atherton Hall. It is presented by the Scientific Organizing Committees for Focus Meetings FM 21 (Mitigating Threats of Light Pollution & Radio Frequency Interference) and FM 2 (Astronomical Heritage: Progressing the UNESCO–IAU Initiative). Admission is free into Atherton Hall for the talks; the museum itself has a reduced price for its exhibits for the day. A detailed agenda and more information can be found at http://astronomy2015.org/events#bishop.

  2. Mitigating Threats of Light Pollution & Radio Frequency Interference
    This event is a 3-day “Focus Meeting” (FM 21) from Tuesday, August 11 til midday Thursday, August 13. Called “Mitigating Threats of Light Pollution & Radio Frequency Interference”, the Focus Meeting will meet in Room 316B at the Hawaii Convention Center. There will be over 55 presentations and discussions on the significant challenges and solutions to light pollution and radio frequency interference issues. Two joint sessions with Astronomical Heritage will also be held Wednesday afternoon. See the agenda for more.

  3. Protecting Observatory Sites: Business Meeting to Shape Future Plan
    This business meeting for the IAU commission on light pollution and RFI will occur on Thursday, August 13 from 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm in Room 316B at the Hawaii Convention Center. Come help shape the future for your observatory.

  4. International Year of Light (IYL2015) Booth
    On Monday, August 3 through Friday, August 14, the IAU Office of Astronomy Outreach will host a booth celebrating the International Year of Light (IYL2015) through IAU-funded Cosmic Light programs. Come investigate educational activities on dark skies awareness and astronomy.

  5. Talks on Dark Skies Awareness at the IAU General Assembly:

    1. Cosmic Light: Educating the Public about the Dark Side of the International Year of Light by Constance Walker (National Optical Astronomy Observatory or NOAO) and Richard Green (Steward Observatory). The talk is in session “Division C: IAU Initiatives and the Future of Division C” on August 10, 2015 from 4:40 PM to 4:50 PM in Room 312 of the Hawaiian Convention Center.

    2. The Quality Lighting Teaching Kit: Educating the Public about the Dark Side of IYL2015 by Constance Walker (NOAO), Rebecca Levy (NOAO), and Stephen Pompea (NOAO). The talk is in session “FM 21: Education Programs Promoting Light Pollution Awareness and IYL2015” on August 13, 2015 from 9:45 AM to 10:00 AM in Room 316B of the Hawaiian Convention Center.

    3. Globe at Night: From IYA2009 to the International Year of Light 2015 and Beyond by Constance Walker (NOAO), Mark Newhouse (NOAO), and Steve Pompea (NOAO). The talk is in session “FM 21: Challenges and Solutions to Light Pollution” on August 13, 2015 from 10:45 AM to 11:00 AM in Room 316B of the Hawaiian Convention Center..

    4. Dark Skies Africa: a Prototype Project with the IAU Office of Astronomy for Development by Constance Walker (NOAO), Daniel Tellez (formerly of NOAO), and Stephen Pompea (NOAO). The talk is in session “FM 20: Task Force 3 (Public) and Regional Coordination” on August 14, 2015 from 10:50 AM to 10:55 AM in Room 316B of the Hawaiian Convention Center.

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