2014
IDA-Colorado section news and upcoming events
Monthly IDA-Colorado pow-wows during Open House nights at U of Denver's historic Chamberlin Observatory 

8-10pm weather permitting including March 8, Apr.5, May 3, Jun.7, Jul.19, Aug.2 etc.

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Plans for Internatio nal Dark Sky Week, 20-26 April, 2014

April (all): Astronomers Without Borders Global Astronomy Month & World at Night (TWAN) 5th International Earth & Sky Photo contest
April 20: World Night in Defence of Starlight, the annual celebration of the Declaration in Defence of the Night Sky and the Right to Starlight 
April 20: Start of GLOBE at Night's April campaign
April 22: Earth Day
A page is up on the IDA website describing the Week on: http://www.darksky.org/ resources/109-international- dark-sky-week

 

20 Feb 2014 – astronomy talk by Dr.Bob at Lakewood Country Club breakfast meeting of the Rotary Club,

and mini-meeting of the Colorado section of IDA: Dr. Bob, Leslie Clark & Rick Angell.

Lighting codes/regulations in your area: http://www.iescu.org/lightingcodes.htm

BLOG

2014 – communications with colorado.ida AT gmail.com

From: Nancy Emerson fnemerson AT comcast.net - Feb 11

To colorado.ida AT gmail.com, Amee AT darksky.og

[update 2/20: from john@darksky.org

Thank you for contacting IDA about Chimney Rock.  My name is John Barentine and I manage the Dark Sky Places Program, having taken over for Amee Henning who left IDA last fall.

I am the IDA Chapter Leader for Santa Barbara County, CA. We recently visited the new Chimney Rock National Monument near Pagosa Springs. Based on the name, I was not sure what to expect but discovered it was an archeoastronomy site. It is located in a very dark part of Colorado and the visitor area looks like it is dark sky compliant, too. While there I talked with the volunteer in the very small visitors center and then with our volunteer tour guide. I mentioned to both of them the IDA Dark Sky Park awards and suggested they apply. They were a bit hesitant and explained that it was the volunteers who had pushed through the site's designation as a national monument in 2012. Now 18 of the volunteers are the interpretative "staff" from May-September (and beyond for schools wanting tours) so they are feeling overwhelmed with work. I learned that the change to a monument has not yet been accompanied by additional funds so the US Forest Service is operating it on a shoestring with the volunteers also continuing to do significant fundraising. As you can imagine, I am very impressed by these volunteers as well as this amazing monument. It is such a unique site that it would be a jewel in IDA's recognized parks. I am wondering if you might be able, over time, to work with them on an application. Please visit the monument's website, if you have not already visited the monument itself, to learn why I found it so unusual. (www.fs.usda.gov/detail/sanjuan/specialplaces/ and www.chimneyrockco.org).

Reply: Hello Nancy, Amee:

Thanks for the contact about Chimney Rock and its potential as a Dark Sky heritage site.  The loosely organized Colorado section indeed may have members in the Four Corners area who could personally lobby with USFS and others toward that goal.  If Amee could share with me a current membership roster, we could share your suggestion and enlist the extra help, along with what I can do from the distance of Denver to Chimney Rock.  Perhaps a conference call would be a useful next step as well.

--Dr.Bob Stencel, Denver Univ Astronomy Program and

Coordinator, Colorado section IDA

New contacts:

Triana Lockaby wrote: I am in the North Denver area. There are so many street lamps and company signs, and the football stadium lit up all the time, that it seems redundant to use headlights when driving at night.

Are there any proposals to address the night lights in Denver?


Reply: Hi Triana. Metro Denver has criminally excessive amounts of badly done lighting that produces glare, trespass and skyglow. Denver city has enacted some progressive lighting regulations, but those have extensive exemptions for businesses – Denver building code details start at denvergov.org: http://www.denvergov.org/tabid/436473/Default.aspx# and

http://www.denvergov.org/tabid/432507/default.aspx

Other towns in metro Denver have assorted building code requirements – see http://www.iescu.org/lightingcodes.htm

You might call your city planning department and ask what can be done about wasteful lighting practices in your area, and see what might be next steps. Key to it all is educating anyone who will listen that we can be smarter about how we use nighttime lighting. Hope this helps.

Recent IDA newsletters, press releases, etc: Join IDA!

http://www.darksky.org/resources/38-ida/resources/111-nightscape-newsletter

http://www.darksky.org/resources/press-release

http://www.darksky.org/joinnow

The issues: GLARE, LIGHT TRESPASS AND

EXCESSIVE SKYGLOW

Details at: www.darksky.org


NEWS:
DECLARATION IN DEFENCE OF THE NIGHT SKY AND THE RIGHT TO STARLIGHT -- Proceedings - Starlight 2007 Conference

"The sky, our common and universal heritage, is an integral part of the environment perceived by humanity. Humankind has always observed the sky either to interpret it or to understand the physical laws that govern the universe. This interest in astronomy has had profound implications for science, philosophy, religion, culture and our general conception of the universe". Proclamation of 2009 as International Year of Astronomy. UNESCO General Conference. Paris 2005.

“Persons belonging to future generations have the right to an uncontaminated and undamaged Earth, including pure skies; they are entitled to its enjoyment as the ground of human history of culture and social bonds that make each generation and individual a member of one human family.” Our premise: EXCESSIVE SKY GLOW OVER CITIES IS THE MANIFESTATION OF LESS THAN IDEAL ENGINEERING AND MANAGEMENT OF OUR ELECTRICAL AND LIGHTING RESOURCES, MOST OF WHICH CAN BE CORRECTED.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights for Future Generations. La Laguna, 1994. Website: STARLIGHT: International Initiative in Defence of the Quality of the Night Sky as Mankind’s Scientific, Cultural and Environmental Righs

0. Compilation of regional night sky photometry HERE
1. Denver City and County studying new lighting regs... details available at website DENVERGOV.ORG and search on Lighting Regulations
2. Useful links to Colorado city, county, state lighting regs:
Colorado IESNA and select link to LIGHTING CODES, near end of left column.


WE **CAN** REDUCE
LIGHT POLLUTION, LIGHT TRESPASS AND GLARE, AND AGAIN SEE THE MILKY WAY EVEN FROM Metro DENVER!


LIGHT POLLUTION refers to wasteful and excessive electric lighting that blocks our view of the night sky.

Light TRESPASS and GLARE refer to unwanted and harmful lighting.

During 2001, the Colorado Legislature agreed and modified state law to address these issues: SECTION 2, ARTICLE 82 OF TITLE 24, COLORADO REVISED STATUES IS AMENDED BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW PART TO READ: PART 9, OUTDOOR LIGHTING FIXTURES.

Astronomers are NOT AGAINST SAFETY, but are very worried about destruction of the night sky by lighting that shines uselessly into the sky, wasting money and depriving everyone of their cosmic birthright, not to mention causing inferior sleep and melatonin disruption. Badly aimed light also produces trespass nuisance, and disabling glare -- especially for older people.

The simplest solution also saves money: add a shield on top of new lighting, to direct all of the light toward the ground where it is needed.

Also, the use of motion sensors and timers reduce the cost of lighting to only when it is really needed.


NEWS

2005 Dec: Pueblo County adopts stricter lighting regs. Link: http://www.co.pueblo.co.us/planning/planning_cases/TA%202005-003/Final%20Proposed%20Outdoor%20Lighting%20Regulation.pdf
2005 Nov: Arvada City adopts new lighting code language, www.arvada.org
2005 Sept. Regional IDA workshop, Yellowstone Nat Park
2004 Sept. 17 WORKSHOP, Frisco, Colorado:
Topics/Speakers included:
The vanishing Colorado night sky, Robert Stencel; Practical solutions for light pollution, Nancy Clanton; Crime prevention through environmental design, John Minor; Lighting Ordinance process case study, Joani Matranga & Jill Peterson


You might find local lighting codes and regs interesting: STATE and COUNTY and CITY lighting regs and proposals


House bill 1160 as introduced Colorado Legislature, Jan.2001; Rationale; and how to contact your elected state reps here in Colorado:


as well as the in-force DOUGLAS COUNTY regs:


The 1999 TEXAS LAW signed by George W. 'hissef': (& search for 1999 HB 916)
and the Texas Effective Outdoor Lighting Council


and City, County and State regs controlling lighting, NATIONALLY:


A recent composite of EARTH AT NIGHT from space (dmsp):


and how to contact your elected state reps here in Colorado:


News about growth and energy issues:
www.denverpost.com
Page 1 double headlines on growth and energy, check archives for Dec.21,2000.



A few terms defined, from the Dark Sky Association homepages:

GLARE: The 8th edition of the IESNA Lighting Handbook (1993) defines glare as the sensation produced by luminance within the visual field that is sufficiently greater than the luminance to which the eyes are adapted to cause annoyance, discomfort or loss of visual performance and visibility. It stands to reason, then, that any good outdoor lighting design will minimize glare. If the light source itself is more apparent than what it is illuminating, then you have bad lighting.

Light TRESPASS is light that is distributed where it is not wanted or needed. Streetlighting, for example, should light streets and sidewalks, not shine into second floor bedroom windows or illuminate rooftops. Also known as spill light, light trespass occurs whenever light shines beyond the intended target and onto adjacent properties.

UPLIGHT is, in the truest sense of the word, wasted light. Light that goes directly up into the night sky is "lost in space" and serves no useful purpose. Uplight is the bane of astronomers and the occasional stargazer because atmospheric scattering artificially brightens the night sky, making distant celestial light sources difficult or impossible to see. Uplight often results from light fixtures which also produce glare and light trespass.

And from NEMA: FULL CUTOFF fixtures are those that allow "no light at or above a horizontal plane located at the bottom of the luminaire" (lamp plus fixture).


Contact Prof. Stencel with questions. Visit the DU Observatories: Chamberlin and Mt.Evans.
Keywords: light pollution, glare, trespass, melatonin, astronomy, astrophysics, astronomy, astrophysics, observatory, infrared, telescopes, universe, planets, stars, comets, Denver ...


For more information, visit the International Dark Sky Association homepage at www.darksky.org.