Wednesday, November 09, 2011

The stars over Exmoor

I was pleased to see a video report on the BBC News website about Exmoor becoming an international dark-sky reserve, even though it appears it is an old story.

The Daily Telegraph reported it back on 12 October:
Stargazers will be delighted ... by the news this week that Exmoor National Park has been designated an International Dark-Sky Reserve by the International Dark-Sky Association – only the second place in the world, after Mont M├ęgantic in Quebec, Canada, to enjoy such status. The park will now have greater powers to prevent light pollution and protect the night sky for a growing group of enthusiastic astronomers.
Pleased for two reasons. The first is that turning off unnecessary lighting can save energy and money.The second is that such lighting robs us of the sight of the stars.

Back in 2005 I quoted Timothy Ferris of NASA, who said:
"The loss of the night sky is most troubling for children. Whole generations of kids in cities and suburbs are growing up seldom if ever having seen the Milky Way and what a sky full of thousands of stars might look like."
"People often describe to me in glowing terms their experience in viewing the night time sky as if they'd seen something extraordinarily exotic ... something akin to observing Victoria Falls or the south pole. And I'm afraid that's the case for many people ... that they can count on the fingers of one hand the times they've seen a good night's sky."
I have seen a proper night sky on Lundy Island and in the West of Ireland, and it is an overwhelming sight.

1 comment:

Frank Little said...

Isn't there an area of Scotland which has International Dark-Sky Reserve status?

I can also recommend mid-Wales.