Our dark skies are worth protecting!
Truly dark skies are becoming increasingly rare in our crowded little country. Light pollution is creeping into almost every corner of the UK, diluting the pitch blackness of night and obscuring the stars for much of the population.
In 21st Century Britain, many town and city dwellers may never have seen the Milky Way – our home galaxy – and will only catch the faintest glimpse of a handful of the brightest stars.
But there is an antidote to the bright lights of big city living – an oasis of velvety darkness where even the faintest stars in the firmament reveal themselves in all their sparkling glory.
The night skies over Northern England are recognized as some of the darkest and several areas have been granted official status as Dark Sky Parks, Reserves and Discovery Sites.
On a clear cloud-free and ideally moonless night, the skies above become home to all manner of legendary figures and mythical beasts. This is the domain of Pegasus, the winged horse, Taurus, the bull, Orion, the hunter, and Andromeda, a beautiful princess.
Most of these groups of stars or ‘constellations’ were identified and named by the world’s earliest astronomers from Ancient Greece or Babylon.
And as well as these often rather tenuous characters in the sky, there’s a whole host of other heavenly objects to look at. Many of the earth’s companion planets in the solar system: Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus are visible at various times of year, as are more distant objects like the Orion Nebula and the Great Galaxy in Andromeda.
The winter months, when the nights are longer and the skies are darker, tend to be the best time to stargaze, but events like the Perseids meteor shower in mid-August, when observers can see dozens of shooting stars an hour, also make a real celestial spectacle.
We can still fix it
All too often, outdoor electric lighting installations at night are over lit, left on when not needed and through poor design are harmful to the environment.
Our shared goal is to prevent and reduce light pollution through the proper application of quality outdoor electric lighting
TURN IT OFF!