2022 events

Sat 23rd 15:30-16:00

Saving the Dark

Dr Ken Wishaw

Australasian Dark Sky Alliance

The biggest threat to the pursuit of visual astronomy is light pollution.

Australia’s population increase, ignorance of light pollution as an issue, and the use of inappropriate lighting techniques have all contributed to the problem. Increasing numbers of satellites is also emerging as a contributor to light pollution.

The solutions are simple and easily achieved. Unlike many other forms of pollution, light pollution requires no compromises. What is good for astronomers is also good for wildlife, human health safety, and the bank balance.

While the International Dark Sky Association is a leader in this area, the need for a locally focused organization was recognized, and in 2019 the Australasian Dark Sky Alliance (ADSA) was formed with the goal to educate people and policy makers on light pollution issues.

Various governments at all levels have recognized the problem. The Federal government “National Light Pollution Guidelines for Wildlife” is a powerful and useful document, while the Sunshine Coast Urban Lighting Master Plan is an example of excellent local council guidelines.

Individual astronomer and astronomical society action on this matter has the potential to greatly increase the power and effectiveness of the message, through raising awareness, explaining the issues and supporting the ADSA in its projects.