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Capraia Night Sky 2018, reloaded – end of week 1

Here is a recapitulation of this week’s articles:

Oct. 15 – Giacomelli – Introduction
Oct. 16 – Gini et al. urban ecology 
Oct. 17 – Depellegrin et al. coastal areas 
Oct. 18 – Ortolani et al. spectroscopic analysis 
Oct. 19 – Welch Dark sky places 

The next article will be available on Oct. 22.

For more information on these topics you may also see the Outreach on lighting and darkness page.

CPNS2018 4/28: Dark Sky Places of the World

[This article is part of the “Capraia Night Sky Symposium, reloaded” series – check this introduction to learn more]

D. Welch
Chair, Dark Skies Advisory Group
World Commission on Protected Areas, IUCN

From 1993 to March 2018, 149 dark sky parks and communities in 23 countries have been  recognized by various organisations,  notably the International Dark Sky Association (IDA), the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) and the Starlight Initiative.
Because light pollution impacts species and their interactions, many natural area organizations implement lighting systems friendly to night sky viewing and night ecology. Parks Canada and the RASC developed guidelines for outdoor lighting in parks, now
recommended by IDA. These guidelines apply in the 27 Canadian dark sky preserves. The Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division of the US National Park Service has guided 22 of its sites to be among USA’s 65 dark sky places, mostly recognized by the IDA.
The Starlight Initiative certifies 16 Starlight Reserves mostly in Spain. Several other places are certified by sub-national levels of government or by astronomy research groups. As well as parks and communities, the IDA certifies “Developments of Distinction” and,
likewise, the Starlight Initiative “Starlight Tourism Destinations.”

Because these programmes use many different naming systems, the IUCN Dark Skies Advisory Group developed a 6 class system, some with sub-classes, to enable world-wide comparisons.

1, Dark Sky Astronomy Site, 14 places around the world.
2, Dark Sky Park, 86 places.
3, Dark Sky Heritage Site, 3 places.
4, Dark Sky Outreach Site 9 places.
5, Dark Sky Reserve, 13 places.
6, Dark Sky Community, 24 places.

Several challenges remain.

1)Light pollution reduction is often overshadowed by other threats to nature, such as climate change.
2) Much work remains to be done to reduce light pollution in urban areas, where protected areas can play a role through outreach, visitor engagement and demonstrating best practices.
3) There still needs to be recognition that protected areas, by default, should be dark sky places.

KEYWORDS: protected areas, nature conservation, parks, communities, best
practices, outreach.

Capraia Island, Italy, Sep. 2018 (photo by Zoltan Kollath)

CPNS2018-3/28: A Spectroscopic Analysis of Light Pollution at the Asiago Observatory

[This article is part of the “Capraia Night Sky Symposium, reloaded” series – check this introduction to learn more]

S. Ortolani1,2, A. Bertolo3, S. Cavazzani4,5, P. Ochner6,7

1Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Padova, Vicolo dell’Osservatorio 2, 35122 Padova, Italy

2INAF, Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, Vicolo dell’Osservatorio 5, 35122 Padova, Italy

3Regional Agency for Environmental Protection and Prevention, Veneto, Department of Padova,Via Ospedale Civile 24, 35121 Padova, Italy

4Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Padova, Vicolo dell’Osservatorio 2,

35122 Padova, Italy

5INAF, Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, Vicolo dell’Osservatorio 5, 35122 Padova, Italy

6Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Padova, Vicolo dell’Osservatorio 2, 35122 Padova, Italy

7INAF, Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, Vicolo dell’Osservatorio 5, 35122 Padova, Italy


We present the spectra evolution of the sky at Asiago Astronomical Observatory form an unprecedent archive collected in the last half century. They will be compared with typical city lamp spectra. The artificial light pollution spectral evolution during the night is also investigated and its impact on astronomical observations is briefly discussed.

Keywords: light pollution, site testing, night sky spectra, aurora lines, sodium lines

The Asiago astronomical observatory (source: Wikipedia)

CPNS2018-2/28: Incorporating Light Pollution into Cumulative Effects Assessment in Coastal Areas of the Italian Adriatic Sea

[This article is part of the “Capraia Night Sky Symposium, reloaded” series – check this introduction to learn more]

D. Depellegrin (1) , M. Drius (1) , S. Menegon (1),
G. Farella (1) , L. Zaggia (1) , F. Falchi (2) , A. Pugnetti (1) ,
L. Bongiorni (1)

(1) Institute of Marine Sciences, National Research Council
(ISMAR-CNR), Arsenale – Tesa 104, Castello 2737/F,
30122, Venice, Italy
(2) ISTIL – Light Pollution Science and Technology Institute,
Via Roma, 13, 36016, Thiene, Italy

Artificial light at night (ALAN) from coastal urban areas represents
a direct threat to marine organisms as it can affect their natural
behaviour, migration and reproduction, and it may interfere
with community interactions such as competition or predation.
Despite increasing research activities on assessing ecological
consequences of ALAN, the overall effects of this threat on marine
ecosystems remain largely unknown. Besides, ALAN can interact
with other human stressors contributing to multiple impacts on
marine ecosystems. In order to adequately assess the cumulative
effects of human stressors to marine biota, it is therefore essential
to integrate ALAN into decision support systems including impact
assessment models.

An advanced model for coastal light pollution
assessment, based on expert elicitation and on a spatially detailed
artificial night sky brightness dataset, is presented and tested for
coastal areas of the Italian Adriatic Sea. Effects on marine organisms
(e.g. turtles) are mapped and discussed for their ecological
relevance, importance within multiple environmental impacts, as
well as for their significance for coastal management and planning.


KEYWORDS: light pollution, coastal ecosystems, cumulative impacts, modelling,
Adriatic sea

Italian translation by Lucia Bongiorni

Image source: Wikipedia (Adriatic Sea)

The Capraia Symposium on Protection and Promotion of the Night Sky, reloaded

After the international symposium on the protection and promotion of the night sky held on Capraia Island, Tuscany, Italy on Sep. 13-14 2018 (see report), with the BuioMetria Partecipativa project we decided to republish an “augmented” version of the symposium proceedings.

From the blog we will issue the abstract of each presentation, together with its Italian translation. For authors who are not Italian or English mother tongue, where possible we will also provide the translation of the abstract in their mother tongue, as an additional outreach exercise.

Departure from Leghorn towards Capraia

The symposium presentations were 28. We will make the abstracts available more or less daily, with the cpns2018 tag, together with some photo coverage taken during the mission to Capraia.

The original version of the book of abstracts can be downloaded from the  symposium website.

The order of the presentations from the blog will not follow the actual symposium schedule, and we start with Andrea Eugenio Gini from  Lucca, Italy,  and his overview on The ALAN phenomenon in the broader frame of urban evolutionary ecology

With this series of articles we hope that interested followers will get to know a bit more in depth the experiences shared during the symposium, and will obtain a broader view concerning artificial light at night, especially from the standpoint of ecology and natural resource management.

For more information:


CPNS2018-1/28: The ALAN phenomenon in the broader frame of urban evolutionary ecology�

A. Gini (1,2), M. A. L. Zuffi (2)

(1) Via A. Gramsci 191, 55100 Lucca (Lucca), Italy –

(2) Museo di Storia Naturale, Università di Pisa, via Roma 79, 56011 Calci (Pisa) – Italy –


Artificial light at night (ALAN) is a threat to ecosystem, which due to
urbanization it is increasing globally. This review is part of a wider
project proposal of evolutionary ecology in urban and peri-urban
populations of the Italian fauna. Here we provide an overview of
the effects of light pollution on a plethora of organisms, as well as
of ecosystem functions. Cloud cover can increase the area where
light irradiance arrives, potentially affecting peri-urban habitats
like wetlands. Polluted aerosols and the different thermal regimes
of cities can increase the phenomenon of cloud cover, directly
amplifying ALAN.
Light alters both physiology functions like metabolism, circadian
rhythms and behaviours like activity and interactions. This
alteration in a wetland area can potentially affect the entire
ecology of zooplankton, aquatic insects, urodeles, and anurans.
Another common effect of ALAN is the attraction of nocturnal
insects, especially moths. They can provide a window to small-
scale evolutionary and trophic alteration studies, because they
affect the diet of their predators and the delicate equilibrium of
the ecosystem. Lastly, an augmented presence of light can alter
the effects of communication signals, or create new ones. Visual
communication mediated by colours, shapes, and signals is very
common between animals, especially for courtship. Light can
dimmer the contrast between the environment and an organism,
blinding the communication, but can also exacerbate a shape or a
reflectance colour in camouflaged animals.
All of these phenomena participate with many others in the
differentiation of the urban environment, and they are all necessary
to enlighten how the evolution acts in their ecology.

KEYWORDS: ALAN, urban ecology, evolution, natural selection, adaptation,

Men at work on CPNS2018 presentations on the ferry

Die Jug Band der metallreichen Hügel

Die Band ist ein musikalisches Kollektiv das seinen Ursprung 2017 im folgenreichen Zusammentreffen mit den ‚Etruschi from Lakota‘ (einer jungen Rockband in der südlicheren Toskana mit 3 veröffentlichten Alben und Auftritten in ganz Italien), einigen ‚Wilden Vagabunden‘ mit internationalen Erfahrungen die seit gut 10 Jahren in der gleichen Gegend leben, und wechselnden Gästen.

Die Mitglieder der Band verbindet die Passion für Musik, die Tatsache des Lebens und Arbeitens in einer eher verlassenen Gegend Italiens – den toskanischen metallreichen Hügeln – und das Interesse andere auf die weniger bekannten Schätze und Geschichten aufmerksam zu machen. Die Band tritt auf wo Live-Music gespielt wird, aber auch bei weniger ‚normalen‘ Gelegenheiten wie zum Beispiel bei wissenschaftlichen Konferenzen.

Die MHJB tritt mit verschiedensten Instrumenten auf die Bühne: Gesang, Gitarren, Banjo, Bouzuki, Percussion, Schlagzeug, Waschbrett, einsaitigem Zupfbass und Jug. Plus allem möglichen was Gäste mitzubringen haben. In der letzten Zeit waren das Violine und Percussion.

Nicht vollständige Zusammensetzung der MHJB am 31 Oktober 2017 in Monterotondo Marittimo: Wolfgang Scheibe, Andrea Giacomelli, Dario Canal, Simone Sandrucci, Pietro Marini



Here’s a petition to the European Parliament on light pollution, for you to consider..

…and maybe sign.

Since 2008 with the BuioMetria Partecipativa project we work on protection and promotion of night sky as a resource and on awareness raising on light pollution.

Since 2013 we collaborate with various organisations in Europe on the same topics. Some of these organisations, currently active on the Stars4all project, have drafted a petition to the European Parliament, advocating a European Directive on light pollution.

With the BuioMetria Partecipativa project, in over eleven years we held almost 130 outreach events at various latitudes, obtained recurring national media coverage, conducted scientific activities, contributed to the creation of networks involving citizens, public and private sector organisations. Above all, we invited a lot of people to think about how much light (and which lights) they use. We are writing primarily to those who followed us on the events, and more in general to whoever is interested to the light pollution topic.

We encourage you to review the petition drafted by th Stars4all team. If you agree, sign it, and let us know you did (please write to If you don’t agree with the petition, or you have any doubt, we would like to hear from you (again, write to


Recommended steps

  1. Check out the full petition text
  2. Register on the European Parliament petition portal
  3. Once you have registered, log in to the petition portal, go to the petition page (look for n. 362/2018, or click here once you are logged in to go there directly) and click on the bottom right button to sign the petition.
  4. Write to to let us know how it went