Dark Skies of Europe

Posted February 07, 2011 by User 1

Light pollution is a growing problem as the world's population booms. Most of this is from poorly directed light fixtures causing light to be lost to the sky, money to be wasted, sleep patterns to be disrupted, nocturnal animal behaviors to change and threatens the existence of the dark sky.

The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) was formed to combat this problem. Since 1988, it has been educating people on the effects of light pollution and lobbying local governments to establish codes against wasting light. Since then, it has seen significant success as evidenced by the growing number of Dark Sky Parks and Communities. These are places which are not only home to a dark sky but also whose managements are actively maintaining it.

Recently, the island of Sark in the English Channel has become the first Dark Sky Community to be established in Europe. This was announced alongside Europe's third Dark Sky Park, Hortobágy Starry Sky Park in Hungary, the second in that country. For more information: http://docs.darksky.org/PR/2011/PRSarkHortobagyFINAL.pdf

The world's first International Dark Sky Community is Flagstaff, Arizona granted the status in 2001. The first International Dark Sky Park is Natural Bridges National Monument in 2006. For additional information including complete lists of these places, see: http://www.darksky.org/mc/page.do?sitePageId=118982&orgId=idsa


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