The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), and the International Astronomical Union (IAU) will be organizing, in La Palma, the meeting “Dark and quiet skies for science and society” between the 3rd and 7th of October 2021. This meeting is the continuation of the online workshop with the same name, which brought together, a year ago, about a thousand researchers from throughout the world to campaign for the natural darkness of the night sky.
The congress “Dark and Quiet Skies for Science and Society” is backed by UNOOSA, the Spanish Government, and the IAU. It was planned for October 2020 and because of the measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 it was held on-line. The meeting brought together some thousand researchers from the whole world and approved a document to give governments, local government, and private companies a legal and technical basis for preventing the new technologies from having a negative impact on observations of the night sky and on biodiversity.
The congress on La Palma will focus on discussing the application of the recommendations put forward in 2020 in the comprehensive report (link). The programme of the meeting includes presentations and there will be discussions in working groups. The number of participants will be limited to 150, and it will also be possible to register telematically and to attend the lectures on-line.
The motivation of this initiative, both the workshop in 2020 and the congress on La Palma which has just been announced, are the worries about the increased urban LED lighting, the constellations of satellites in low Earth orbit, and the emission of powerful radio signals.
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.
Even though the conference planned by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) for celebration in La Palma has been postponed until mid-April 2021, the meeting is being held on-line from 5th to 9th October. In this workshop we will discuss a reference document for governments, city councils and companies so that they have a legal and technical basis to avoid the possible negative impact of the new technologies on the observation of the night sky and on biodiversity. Link to the programme: http://research.iac.es/congreso/quietdarksky2020/pages/program.php For thousands of years the
“Astronomical observations have to be protected against light pollution. Only in this way will we be able to see the Universe at at the very beginning”. This was the start of the talk by Casiana Muñoz-Tuñón, Deputy Director of the IAC and one of the organizers of the workshop “Dark and quiet skies for science and society” which is being celebrated on line from October 5th to 9th. Muñoz-Tuñón reminded us that the further back in time we want to reach, the further away we need to look. “For that reason the light which reaches us is very faint. We need dark skies to be able to detect and study
Since millennia the silent and ordered beauty of the night sky has inspired humankind in all its intellectual and emotional expressions: poetry, philosophy, religion and science. In particular, modern