Year(s) of Dark Skies   

Workshop Details   

Celebrate the 2009 International Year of Astronomy (2009IYA) with planetarium 
modules, demos, resources, activities, and ideas that advocate the "Dark Skies" theme.  

Wednesday, October 10, 2007 at the Triple Conjunction Conference in Wheeling, WV.

The 2009 International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009) will showcase the excitement of both the historical and the modern aspects of astronomy. However, the prevalence of light pollution challenges the future of human interaction with the night sky.  Being a community that observes and quantifies sky conditions, astronomers and have been bell-ringers in the campaign to advocate responsible outdoor lighting.  With the rest of the world gradually awakening to the issues, planetarium leaders are well-positioned to guide the public into informed action.  The Year(s) of Dark Skies workshop will offer you tools to inspire young and old audiences alike to challenge the quiet threat to our world's nighttime heritage. 

One of the six U.S. themes supporting the IYA2009 goal is "Dark Skies are a Universal Resource."  A working group coordinated by the National Observational Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) is planning observing opportunities, podcasts, a planetarium program, a Wave of Darkness, star counts, educational resources, and other events related to dark skies.  The Year(s) of Dark Skies workshop will begin with a brief introduction to the proposed U.S. plans and will solicit feedback from participants.  The workshop will then feature demonstrations and hands-on activities in small and portable planetariums that are correlated to a proposed planetarium program.   Planetarians will also simulate in-dome the Globe at Night international star count and get tips on how to apply for free Sky Quality Meters (SQMs) for your community of observers.  

The world press will soon be highlighting many aspects of astronomy, including the modern scourge of poor outdoor lighting.  Many people, especially youths and urban residents, are not even aware of the starry grandeur they are missing.  Fortunately, a  groundswell of dark sky advocacy is rising.  I invite you to energize your small dome by enabling your visitors to prioritize their night sky and outdoor lighting decisions.  Year(s) of Dark Skies is (are) coming soon.   

If you would like to contact me in advance, please feel free to do so.   I truly welcome your input and suggestions.  Workshop is open to registrants of the Triple Conjunction Conference at the Oglebay Resort in Wheeling, WV.  The 45-minute workshop is tentatively scheduled for the afternoon of Wednesday, October 10, 2007, and space is limited to 20 people-- first come, first served.  The requested fee for supplies is $10.00, but it will be waived if it presents any hardship or impediment to your participating in the workshop.  

Stay in the dark,

Chuck Bueter        
Year(s) of Dark Skies Workshop Presenter

Copyright 2009 Chuck Bueter.  All rights reserved.