This is very exciting news for the Isle of Wight. Brian Curd from the Vectis Astronomical Society shares the news. Ed
The Vectis Astronomical Society (VAS) will be officially launching the Isle of Wight Dark Sky Initiative on Friday 24th May.
Bob Mizon – a senior member of the British Astronomical Association and Campaign for Dark Skies, and Martin Morgan-Taylor – board member of the International Dark Skies Association will give a presentation entitled “Dark Skies – Dark Future?”
International Dark Skies Status
This will be followed by a short presentation outlining details of the VAS application for International Dark Skies Status for the Isle of Wight
Our Island is already well known for its dark skies, as celebrated each March by the “Isle of Wight Star Party” attended by around 100 observational astronomy enthusiasts and professionals. This event has featured in recent editions of Sky at Night and Astronomy Now magazines.
Potentially the best combination of dark skies and clear weather
Professor Bill Martin of the University of Hertfordshire Centre for Astrophysics and Atmospheric Instrumentation Research has operated a dark sky monitoring station on the Island for several years, and has stated:
“with the data we have from the Isle of Wight you potentially have the best combination of dark skies and clear weather in the UK.”
The benefits of Dark Sky status
Most types of pollution are being tackled but, so far, light pollution seems to have had little attention even though it can affect all our health and well-being.
VAS is committed to reduce light pollution on the Isle of Wight and believes that achieving International Dark Sky status for the island through the International Dark Sky Association will:
- Strengthen the island’s tourism industry
- Improve the well-being of the population
- Reduce environmental impact
- Enable further education and scientific research projects
- Recognize our Island as one of the most environmentally friendly
- and enjoyable places to be on earth.
Please send letters of support to:
Isle of Wight Dark Skies Initiative, 35 Forest Road, Winford, Isle of Wight, PO36 0JY
All welcome to launch
If you’d like to attend the launch of the initiative, it takes place at Newport Parish Church Centre, Town Lane from 7.15 pm on Friday 24th May 2013.
Image: © Used with permission of Chad Powell