light pollution

New article: “Islands of darkness”

I’ve written an article for the new issue of Sky at Night Magazine about the first International Dark Sky Places to be set up in and around the UK.

From Galloway Forest Park in Scotland to the island of Sark in the Channel Islands these places are home to some of the darkest night skies we have in this part of the world. They are havens for astronomers faced with the ever-growing blight of light pollution – rare places from where we can view the unspoilt night skies in all their beauty.

The article explores how these sites came to be recognised as International Dark Sky Places and what effect their new statuses are having on their surrounding regions. The piece also looks at what the future holds for some of the other dark sky locations across the country while highlighting a few places that may apply for this special designation soon.

You’ll find the feature – entitled ‘Islands of darkness’ – on pages 26-31 of the July 2011 issue of Sky at Night Magazine, available from all good newsagents.

Save the skies…

…save the world. That’s the title of my new article in March’s issue of BBC Sky At Night magazine. In the article I discuss how the aims of astronomers and environmentalists have converged. I argue that if we can reduce our wastage of light, create more efficient lighting fixtures and get councils and local authorities to dim or at least reduce their lighting usage then we can not only save the night skies but reduce our carbon emissions. Hopefully in doing so we can be a little less harsh on our environment. If you are concerned that these sorts of measures may result in a wave of criminals and ne’er-do wells sweeping the streets then it’s worth reading the material on this page on the Campaign for Dark Skies’ website.