The next event for BuioMetria Partecipativa will be on Friday, Oct. 18, from 2 to 3PM (@ FIDIA, villino Pastorelli, via Fallaci). This will be in the context of AMBITA, the forum on Italian Built Environment.
We will speak of the impact of artificial lighting on various aspects of society and nature, and of how simple practice can lead to significantly reduce light pollution without compromising the quality of our lives.
Andrea Giacomelli, promoter of the BuioMetria Partecipativa project obtained the 2019 “Dark Sky Defender” award by the International Dark Sky Association (IDA), the main organization worldwide committed to protection and promotion of the night sky.
This award is assigned to individuals or organizations in recognition of their exceptional efforts to promote and advance the mission and programs of IDA by promoting quality outdoor lighting to reduce light pollution and its environmental impacts.
Here is the motivation by IDA: For over ten years, Andrea Giacomelli has led the “BuioMetria Partecipativa” (Participatory Night Sky Quality Monitoring) project in Italy. The BuioMetria Partecipativa project has demonstrated a progressive approach, engaging not only “typical” subjects such as public administrations, utilities, or park managers, but triggering community-based activities, collaborations with artists, bartenders, and other segments of society who “thought they had nothing to do with light pollution”. Giacomelli organized more than 100 education and public outreach events.
The winners of the various IDA Award categories have been announced yesterday (Sep. 30) online, and the awards will be assigned on Nov. 8 in Tucson, Arizona, during the next IDA General Assembly.
Thursday, July 25, at the Terme Marine Leopoldo II hotel in Marina di Grosseto (Tuscany) from 6.30PM to 8PM there will be a presentation of the mission by Zoltán Kolláth, astrophysics professor at the Savaria University Centre, Eötvös Loránd University, Szombathely, Hungary.
The professor, who is one of the leading authorities in the field of light pollution studies will be in Italy in the context of a collaboration with the BuioMetria Partecipativa, and will be visiting Southern Tuscany after four years (in 2015 he was part of a research team for a measurement campaign in the Farma Valley.
In the July 25 event you will have a chance to know more about the measurement activities which will be conducted in the following nights in various parts of Southern Tuscany -which in Italy is one of the few areas where a good night sky quality remains- and to understand how this characteristic, in addition to being an element of wonder, may become a territorial asset.
Citizens, businesses and public administrators can come to hear about professor Kollath’s experiences. In fifteen years, in Hungary he has been developing a whole sector of activity, spanning from scientific research, to environmental education, to dark sky park management, to actual lighting system renovation in order to procure lights which can couple energy efficiency and a strong compliance to state-of-the-art guidelines to minimize light pollution.
Last but not least, should you be interested in collaborating with the BuioMetria Partecipativa project, you will have a chance to know about the citizen science activities that this project is promoting since 2008, and through which you too can have an active role in the coming months.
For more details on the 2019 “buiometric” campaign, also see this post.
For more information, or to confirm your attendance, please write to email@example.com or call +393317539228
Measuring the quality of the night sky is necessary to assess light pollution and to evaluate its trends. These derive from a combination of existing and new lighting installations, and the applications of mitigation actions to reduce the amount of luminous flux escaping the primary areas where lighting is needed (and thus generating glare and skyglow), and containing increasing levels of blue light due to the diffusion of new generation lighting. Such measures are especially important in relation to protected areas, where night sky quality measurements by digital cameras have become a routine procedure. However, these observations lack the wavelength dependence of sky radiance; therefore, we have started a spectral sky quality survey parallel with the all-sky radiance measurements. To interpret the measurements, we also performed Monte Carlo simulations with the dominant light sources in the neighborhood of the measurement locations. We studied the effect of the tendencies of different atmospheric conditions for some reference cases with typical cloud and aerosol profiles. The structure of the aerosol layers has a significant impact on the night sky radiance distribution, and it is neglected in most of the recent light pollution modelling. I will present our first results obtained at the Zselic Starry Sky Park, in the context of a now fifteen-year-old program for the protection and promotion of the night sky in various nature reserves in Hungary.
The visit to Fondazione Mach is part of a tour in Italy with the BuioMetria Partecipativa project, active since 2008 in the interdisciplinary protection and promotion of the night sky.
Zoltán Kolláth, professor of astrophysics at the Savaria University Center, Eötvös Loránd University, Szombathely, Hungary between 24 and 29 July. Prof. Kolláth is one of the highest international authorities in the field of light pollution studies, as well as in the promotion of the night sky as a resource. He was the creator of one of the first international star parks in Europe, the Zselic landscape protection area, and has for many years been a driving force in protecting night skies in Hungary, with the recognition of three parks certified by the International Dark Sky Association.
At the moment, the professor is responsible for a large national project for the development of scientific research on all aspects of light pollution, including the creation of new sustainable lighting systems. As an astrophysicist, he deals with the dynamics of pulsating stars. He is also very active in the dissemination in this sector, for example taking care of the soundtrack of astronomical signals that have been used in exhibitions and musical compositions, including a piece by John Legend.
The table shows similarities and differences, with respect to various criteria, region by region (for those regions where light pollution regulations are present). This table is an extremely interesting reference both for experts, and for non-experts who may have an idea of how different administrations have been approaching the same topic in the course of time.Regions are listed according to a reverse chronological order related to the year of publication of the most recent law.
The table is updated to June 2019 and is currently maintained in Italian (we may consider translating the table if there are specific requests). For comments or for more information, please write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Between June 27 and July 1, 2019, I had the opportunity of attending with the BuioMetria Partecipativa project a part of the fourth “Light Pollution Theory, Modelling, and Measurements” and a workshop connected to the conference. Here you will find a brief summary of the event and the experimental activities related to it, and some highlights (or should I say “high lights”) from the trip from Toscana to Hungary.
Also, please note your next opportunities to interact with BuioMetria Partecipativa and interdisciplinary night promotion and protection: July 16 in Milano, for an outreach event with Wim Schmidt, one of the main Dutch experts on this topic, and from July 25 to 29 in Southern Tuscany, with a visit by prof. Zoltán Kolláth, the mastermind of all the Hungarian events portrayed below, as well as a great progressive rock fan.
Now, back to the LPTMM conference (from June 25 to June 28). This is a bi-annual meeting attracting the main world experts in the field. After the main event, an experimental workshop was scheduled, inviting researchers to conduct night sky quality measurements with different techniques, spanning from the dear, old, Sky Quality Meter (which we called buiometro in Italy), to a plethora of imaging systems complemented by rather sophisticated processing workflows.
Such developments in sensing techniques also reflect the maturity on the light pollution monitoring topic. In the Nineties the focus of the experts was in the mitigation of light pollution effects in relation to night sky observation, as a priority mainly deriving from astronomers in order to reduce the amount of light improperly directed upwards. In the following years, with a greater awareness of the negative effects of the blue component of night lights, and its impact on ecology and landscape, measurement systems have evolved in order to detect such information. Essentially state-of-the-art technology requires the acquisition of “all sky” images, allowing to assess the source direction of lights, as well as spectral data. Combining such information, and integrating it with remote sensing data, as well as drone-derived information, extremely detailed scenarios can be assessed, thus supporting policies and management strategies for lighting systems.
The conference was in the Zselic dark sky park, in the South-West of Hungary. This is one of the three dark-sky areas certified by the International Dark Sky Association, and catered like babies by Zoltán Kolláth: in addition to managing the certification process, in the years the professor has fostered a series of lighting renovation projects in the villages around the “night sky reserves”, developed a structured research, and promotion activities on night sky-related issues.
A photo report of the “buiometric” mission and the LPTMM workshop (June 28/July 1 2019)
We thank the conference organizers for their hospitality, and grant EFOP- 3.6.2-16- 2017-00014, “Development of international research environment for light pollution studies” for support to this mission. For more information: email@example.com
A PDF version of the event flyer is downloadable here
For centuries we have been used to live with the night sky as a natural part of our landscape, but substantially independent from our activities. With the development of cities and industrial infrastructures, lighting systems came, as a key resource in improving our quality of life, providing security and enabling us to conduct at night activities which were once confined to daytime. However, in parallel, the combination of lighting sources “spilling” light out of their primary target, or with exceedingly high power, started to generate light pollution, actually contaminating the sky.
Light pollution has a series of negative impacts, which were initially perceived only as an issue for astronomers, who had to relocate many of their activities from their observatories, most of which were founded not far from cities, to more pristine areas. Over the past twenty years, however, a significant body of research has strongly improved our understanding of the light pollution issue, exposing also effects on ecology, human health, energy management, road safety, and security. The combination of these effects, in parallel with the fast pace of innovation in the field of lighting technology and a significant unawareness of the negative effects of “too much light” (with the “blue light issue” as a key topic today), makes the light pollution issue simple to appreciate on a basic level, but complex to grasp in its multi-faceted implications: everybody will note the difference in a night sky observed from the centre of a large city or from a rural area, but it is then not so simple to deploy lighting policies balancing the perceptions of different sectors of society in relation to lighting.
Independently of different approaches and perceptions on the use of light at night, there are two elements which cannot be denied, if we look at things from a sustainability viewpoint: the night sky is a common good, so solving light pollution issues requires a participatory approach involving many stakeholders, and lighting sources which are not aimed at lighting areas where illumination is needed should be redesigned, so as to mitigate light pollution effects without reducing the quality of our lives.
In order to showcase different scenarios related to these views the Netherlands Consulate General in Milano has organised an event in Cascina Cuccagna, Milano, on July 16, 2019, from 6.00PM to 10PM, with a talk from 6.30 to 7.30PM, a Q/A moment until 8PM, and then till 10PM an info+engagement desk where citizens, creatives, and experts may become an active part of initiatives related to light pollution monitoring and management.
The event is organised in collaboration with the BuioMetria Partecipativa project, and è is related to the exhibition ‘I See That I See What You Don’t See’ in the Dutch Pavillion at the “Broken Nature” international exhibition in the Milano Triennale. Following a conference on light pollution on May 26, the Consulate General has decided to further elaborate on this topic inviting from The Netherlands one of its main light pollution experts, Wim Schmidt. Wim will showcase various aspects of light pollution issues -and mitigation strategies- as observed in his country, which in Europe is one of the most impacted.
To balance this view, and trigger ideas on how citizens, creatives, and experts should be approaching the protection and promotion of the night sky, Wim will interact with Andrea Giacomelli, an expert coming from a dark sky area in Italy (Southern Tuscany). From the interaction between these two angles, and some pratical activities which will be proposed during the event, participants will be stimulated to look at the sky -and to their lights- with a different awareness, and think twice before they change their next lamp.
Wim schmidt is educated as astronomer and psychologist based in Utrecht. On his 50th birthday he decided to give a turn to his life and started a company providing consulting to municipalities, provinces and enterprises on the mitigation of their lighting impact on the environment. He conducts investigations on the development of night sky quality in the Netherlands and is the chairman of the Dutch organization against light pollution. (http://www.sotto.nl/index-english.html)
Andrea Giacomelli is an MS in environmental engineering and a PhD in hydrology, with 25 years of experience in geographic information systems. In 2007 he started his work on interdisciplinary promotion of assets in the fields of culture, environment, and open innovation. His flagship project is “BuioMetria Partecipativa”, providing since 2008 monitoring, citizen science and outreach initiatives on light pollution and night sky protection. He is based in the Metalliferous Hills of Southern Tuscany. (http://www.pibinko.org)
Photo credits (where not indicated in the pictures): satellite imagery: NASA, light pollution photos: Wim Schmidt