In this post I will talk about the work of the International Dark-Sky Association (https://www.darksky.org/)and the visit I made a few years ago to the Kielder Observatory, which is in the Northumberland Dark Sky park in northern England. The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) was founded in 1988 by David Crawford a professional astronomer, who spent… Continue reading Dark Sky Places
As discussed in a previous post , light pollution is a major nuisance to astronomers both amateur and professional. When astronomers classify how much light pollution there is at a particular location, they often use the Bortle Scale, devised by John Bortle and first published in the popular astronomy magazine Sky and Telescope (Bortle 2001). Rather… Continue reading Measuring and Mapping Light Pollution
Update April 2021 - A video containing some of the material in the post is now available on the Explaining Science YouTube channel Many of you will have seen the pictures in 2019 showing long ‘trains’ composed of as many as sixty SpaceX Starlink satellites crossing the sky. A 'train' of SpaceX Starlink satellites just… Continue reading SpaceX Starlink Satellites
Watching the Sun set below the horizon and the sky gradually get darker and darker is an almost magical experience. Twilight is that period of the day when the sky is not completely dark, and it can be used to describe the period either just after sunset, or just before sunrise. It is valued by photographers because of… Continue reading Twilight
"All humans, everywhere in the world and throughout history, have looked up at the sky and wondered at it. This experience is now denied to most people, because of the background light in towns and cities. It is important to ensure that there will be somewhere in England where young people can fully enjoy a cosmic… Continue reading Dark Skies.