26 April 2017

Protecting Dark Skies for Astronomy and Life

Constance Walker, NOAO, AAS LPRISD Committee Member, Astronomical Society of the Pacific BOD

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Artificial light at night is a threat to astronomical research, personal safety, and the health of humans and wildlife. To address the challenge posed by the proliferating use of LEDs for billboards and street lighting, the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO), in partnership with the AAS Committee on Light Pollution, Radio Interference, and Space Debris, held a workshop at the 229th AAS meeting in Grapevine, Texas, to showcase successful strategies for reducing light pollution.

The workshop included presentations by Chris Smith and Lori Allen (NOAO), Jeff Hall (Lowell Observatory), Dan McKenna (Palomar Observatory), John Barantine (International Dark-Sky Association), and Chris Monrad (Monrad Engineering). PDFs of all the presentations are now online at NOAO's website, where you'll also find photos from the workshop as well as several videos.

Workshop Presentations, Photos, and Videos

Also in Grapevine, Martin Aubé (Cégep de Sherbrooke), an expert on LED light modeling, gave an AAS-invited plenary talk entitled “The LED Outdoor Lighting Revolution: Opportunities, Threats, and Mitigation.” The AAS Council also approved a three-part resolution on light pollution that calls on all AAS members to help protect dark skies in their communities.