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New UK dark sky region designated

Posted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:17 am
by brian livesey
Parts of Wiltshire, Dorset and Somerset have been made the 14th international dark sky reserve by the International Dark-Sky Association. The new region is classed, along with other dark sky sites, as offering "exceptional starry skies".
But for how long will this status endure? Light pollution is increasing everywhere at a phenomenal rate, including on the peripheries of dark sky sites, causing light pollution overspill. Surely, there should be more emphasis on reducing light pollution in urban and suburban areas, in other words, at source.
There's so much illumination in towns and cities that is needless, including illuminating the insides of trees, spotlighting public buildings, insecurity lights and an overabundance of street llghting. We town dwellers shouldn't have to travel miles down the road to find a "dark spot". A few decades ago, from this site, it was possible to see the Milky Way, but now we can barely make out stars down to Mag 4 on the best of nights. There's a permanent "aurora" over the town and the surrounding countryside.

Re: New UK dark sky region designated

Posted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 12:13 pm
by skyhawk
I do wonder why governments are so opposed to doing anything about it, I wrote to Ceredigion Council about the effect that the ultra bright lights in our village have on my Autistic son and pollution, we have 1 car a night and no pedestrians but they refuse to turn any off.

Re: New UK dark sky region designated

Posted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 12:36 pm
by mike a feist
The Mile Oak valley in Portslade, between Southwick Hill and Foredown Hill, is gradually becoming filled with more houses, roads and more and more lights. Once it was quite rural, or at least semi-rural but is now semi-urban and in many part pretty suburban. The new compact streetlights are probably better but there are a lot more of them and along Chalky Road, they have installed doubleheaded ones. The Academy building is very luminous at night although at least the large carpark is better illuminated and the globe lights that once stood at the entrance have mercifly been removed.
The vastly increasing population will, I fear, spread the roads and houses and lights right across the countryside.
I can still currently see the Via Lactia from my east-facing backgarden after the house-lights have mostly give off, but increasing use of spotlights and the Football pitch before then can be a real nuisance. Viewing westwards from the front garden is something else! More and more lights etc.
Mostly though I now concentrate on crepuscular and even daylight viewing....although on occasions a bright comet (perhaps I should have written, a now rare bright comet) may appear, and cause me to search for it the failing darkness. There seems be a dearth of these too!
Mostly the poor weather obliterates as well as the lights. It is no wonder that many local groups are reduced in membership numbers and fewer and fewer can offer practical observing, falling back on talks.
Regards maf (skywatcher-cloudwatcher-atmospheric-effects-watcher- and occasional comet-follower.)