Announcements and Special Links

Skykeepers founded
September 1, 1999

UCAR Announcement ----
Great World Wide Star Count:
Light Pollution To Be Mapped by Thousands of Citizen Scientists Around the World This Month


Great World Wide Star Count 
Oct. 20 - Nov. 3 2008
( Quick link to the reporting form and Download the Activity Guide  )

 See our California Sky Quality Observations page for more Star Count links.

GLOBE at Night 2009
16 - 28 March

Section News (Northern Calif.)
Seeking San Francisco IDA members for Dark Sky action

I have been asked if I can find a IDA representative to participate in a stakeholder committee associated with the San Francisco Commission on the Environment.
The committee apparently is promoted/requested by Lights Out San Francisco and American Bird Conservancy.

As I am told "The goal of the program is to reduce unnecessary night lighting in the city of San Francisco to reduce the threat of nighttime collisions with buildings for migratory birds, conserve resources, save money, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and ultimately increase visibility of the night sky."

This is VERY early in the process of forming the stakeholder committee.

If you are interested please contact me.

If you would like to get more involved in Norther California activities please join the Cal-IDA yahoo group go to:
   (Yahoo! ID required)

Jack Sales, IDA California Section

Related Notes --

Cal-IDA Yahoo Group has been updated and opened to members posting in the hope that it will increase communication and Dark Sky activities in California.     To join the group 
the Cal-IDA yahoo group go to:      (Yahoo! ID required)

Related Groups
A new group has formed in SF Bay Area, Citizens for Smart Lighting If you would like to join us, just go to and click 'Join'
Note this is not a IDA group but all are welcome at

Please visit

KERN County News --

See for all the latest Dark Sky Activities

For some reason NASA thinks this is so wonderfull.  They know not what they do.

Nighttime Lights from the International Space Station (Video)

Link to the Video Page

It's All About the Lighting

City Lights Are Obscuring Our Starry NightsWall Street Journal 25 July 2008

Bipartisan letter from the U.S. House of Representatives supports Dark Skies

August 4, 2008: Eleven members of the 

U.S. House of Representatives request action on light pollution from the EPA. Read the Press Release (.pdf)  here >>

Read the Letter (.pdf) here  >>

Help IDA raise awareness in the US Congress about the problems and solutions of light pollution by inviting your Representative's Legislative Assistants on Energy, Environment, Science and Health to a briefing on light pollution.

Friday, June 20, 2008
 Noon until 1:00 p.m. (Lunch Provided)
Rayburn House Office Building 2325

RSVP by June 18, 2008  
Each year, millions of Americans glance into the sky in the hopes to wish upon a star, or gaze at the wonders of the universe, only to discover their view has been replaced by a yellow haze.  And while the loss of starlight may seem inconsequential, or just a sad reality of our continuing development, did you know there are other critical issues linked to light pollution?
· Light pollution has consequences for human health.
According to the journal Chronobiology International, the breast cancer incidence is approximately 73% higher in communities with higher levels of artificial illumination at night.

Discussion by: Dr. David Blask, Senior Research Scientist and Head of the Laboratory of Chrono-Neuroendocrine Oncology at Bassett Healthcare Institute (NY)

· Light pollution wastes energy.

IDA estimates over $10 billion is wasted annually on unnecessary lighting.
Discussion by: Lee Cooper, Manager of Emerging Technologies at Pacific Gas & Electric (CA)

· Light pollution harms the environment.
Light pollution affects all species from zooplankton to birds to sea turtles.  Hatchling sea turtles, including Loggerhead and Leatherback turtles, find their way to the sea by differentiating between dark, elevated areas, and the bright, flat sea surface; misdirected light confuses this process.
Discussion by: Travis Longcore, Ph.D., Science Director of The Urban Wildlands Group (CA) and co-editor of "Ecological Consequences of Artificial Night Lighting."
There are alternatives!!!  
Please join the International Dark-Sky Association, a 501 c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to preserve and protect the nighttime environment and our heritage of dark skies, along with fellow endorsing organizations as we discuss these consequences associated with improper night lighting. 

 IDA will present a strategy for reducing these adverse effects of light pollution at minimal costs, or even cost savings, by using more sensible outdoor lighting.  

Light Pollultion Talk by Jack Sales  Nevada County Astronomers  April 14 2008  
At Madelyn Helling Library  Community Room  980 Helling Way,  Nevada City, CA 95959 
Google Map

Truckee officials trying to reduce light pollution  (SacBee Tue. Dec. 25 2007)
This AP story has drawn considerable attention by the press in California, especially by the TV stations.
Officials in this well know Nevada County town have been addressing Light Pollution for a number of years.  
Truckee's GP, development and municipal codes has been sited on skykeepers and darksky web sites for some time, as far back as 2003 or more.
Hats off to Truckee.   More information and analysis can be found on the Outdoor Lighting Regulations in California page (Nevada County).
A rundown of the new coverage can be found on the Media Coverage page.

Help is needed for booth setup, attending and take down for 08:00am - 4:30pm 
      The Salmon Festival - Rancho Cordova, CA - October 14 - 15, 10am - 4pm
    American River Salmon Festival
   Contact Jack Sales, 726-7405, 747-7405.
STATUS -  It was one of the best event we have ever displayed at!   We handed out over 1,000 Meteor Show Calendars and other information!

World --
On December 25, 2007 a new website was launched, The World At Night (TWAN) .   As stated TWAN  is a new program that will produce and present a collection of stunning photographs of the world’s most beautiful and historic sites against the nighttime backdrop of stars, planets and celestial events.
The TWAN New page notes "On Christmas day, 25 December 2007, NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) announced The World At Night project".
Of special note to this IDA Member and I am sure many others are the astrophotographs of Wally Pacholka.  During the many years of attending the starry Night Festival (SNF) in Yucca Valley, CA, Wally has been a fixture.   The reason for this is his long relationship with Joshua Tree National Park and of course Joshua Tree NP has been a integral part of SNF from the beginning.  The connection to IDA is that from the beginning SNF has included a IDA Regional Meeting.   From all reports this year was one of the best.  No doubt because of Bob Gent being back at the helm and Teri Jackson, Riverside County Section Leader so close and supporting the IDA activities.  The activities and displays by the California Members can be seen spread thought out the Sections Activities page from 1989 to 2002. 

Wherever in the world you are on October 20, 2007, join the citizens of San Francisco when they turn off their nonessential lights for one hour – An event of Lights Out San Francisco, supported by IDA. Watch for a national event in your hometown in March, 2008.

Websters note ---  it's  "Lamp" not "Bulb"  CFL, the "L" = Lamp

National --

    OUR FAR-FLUNG CORRESPONDENTS about light pollution and its effect on astronomy and the environment. Writer describes Galileo Galilei’s 1610 astronomical observations. Today, by contrast, most Americans are unable to see the Milky Way in the sky above the place where they live. The stars have not, of course, become dimmer; rather, the earth has become vastly brighter, so that celestial objects are harder to detect. Air pollution has made the atmosphere less transparent and more reflective, and high levels of terrestrial illumination have washed out the stars overhead—a phenomenon called “sky glow.” 

    In my opinion this is the best "light pollution" story ever published by a popular magazine. 
    The Webmaster

    More on the web -
    • The Hitchhiker's Guide to Light Pollution - Wired Science, August 14, 2007 -- Wonderful and responses to coverage of THE DARK SIDE article in THE NEW YORKER MAGAZINE! 
      "Update: Our Wired blog comrades over at the Underwire recently posted about a streetlight that senses when the moon is bright and adjusts its intensity accordingly, thus saving energy and letting pedestrians see our celestial kid brother. Pretty cool."

      Walking by Moonlight - Underwire,  August 10, 2007 -- "The Civil Twilight Design Collective has designed a street lamp that can sense and respond to the moon's ambient light. As the moon goes through its phases through out the month, cities streelamps would dim and brighten accordingly. Not only would this allow moonlight to be more apparent, it could save the city millions of dollars in electricity bills." ...
      The idea won this year's Metropolis Next Generation ideas competition.The lunar-resonant streetlights retrofits existing streetlights with dimmable LED bulbs and a highly sensitive photo-sensor cell."

      The Civil Twilight Design Collective the latest project is Lunar-resonant Streetlights!  CHECK IT OUT!!
      "Civil Twilight’s research indicates that streetlights account for 38 percent of the electricity used for lighting in the United States—that’s close to 300 million tons of carbon emissions a year."

      Another link to great comments about the NEW YORKER article,  Making War On Light Pollution

  • Study - Harsh Lighting May Damage Embryos      --- YA THINK !! ---

    "People do not pay much attention to light as a negative environmental factor," he said.

    Find out who said that and review the extensive media coverage!

    About 24,300 Google Hits
Regional --

San Diego County --
  • Tribe to build $300 million casino-resort, San Diego Union Tribune, United States -Aug 9, 2007
    Observatory spokesman Scott Kardel said light pollution affecting observations at the mountaintop telescopes comes not just from the Indian casinos, but also from the growth of nearby cities.   In the report, the tribe says it will try to keep lights to a minimum and will focus all lights toward buildings or the ground, away from the sky.
    Please see CALTECH ASTRONOMY -  Outdoor Lighting a Pauma Casino

Sacramento County ---
Sky Quality Meter Readings in Northern California (Dear Creek data added)

  • The Sacramento County General Plan is being updated.   Support Dark Skies with your comments.

    The Sacramento County General Plan Draft now addresses Light Pollution and Outdoor Lighting!

    See Skykeepers of Sacramento County for more details.

Web Site -
A new page has been created Light at Night (LAN) and Health, 17 JUN 2008

21 OCT 2008
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