It’s darker down south
2014 July 21
The night sky is getting darker in the south of England. On the Isle of Wight, in Dorset and Wiltshire, and in the South Downs National Park, astronomers, environmentalists and others who care about the night-time environment are working on dark-sky initiatives.
The Vectis Astronomical Society (VAS) launched its Isle of Wight Dark Sky Initiative in 2013 May, and, following the example of Exmoor, Galloway Forest Park and many other sites in the UK, is pursuing Dark Sky Status, certified by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), for a protected zone in the south-west of the island. The VAS is collaborating closely with the island’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), systematically measuring the darkness of the night sky, promoting good lighting practice and working to educate the public about the value of both well-directed lighting and seeing the stars above their homes. See www.darkwightskies.com
The Isle of Wight branch of the CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England) has also turned its hand to spreading the dark-sky message, promoting star counts and presenting annual good lighting awards to local organisations with carefully controlled lamps.
Meanwhile, the Cranborne Chase & West Wiltshire AONB boasts 380 square miles of the darkest terrain left in south central England…. (continued)