Tag Archives: cpns2018

CPNS2018-5/28: El cel del Montsec. Com un un cel fosc està impactant en l’economia d’una àrea rural

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

S.J. Ribas (1) , J. Vilajoli (2)

1 – Parc Astronòmic Montsec, Consell Comarcal de la Noguera,
Camí del coll d’Ares s/n E25691 Àger, Lleida, Spain

2 – Consell Comarcal de la Noguera, C. Angel Guimera 28-30
E25600 Balaguer, Lleida, Spain

La serra del Montsec és una serra calcaria de més de 40 kilòmetres de longitud a les comunitats autònomes de Catalunya i Aragó al nord-est de la Península Ibèrica. La part catalana inclou al voltant de 20 municipis a les comarques del Pallars Jussà i la Noguera.

Aquesta área mostra uns paràmetres excel·lents pel desenvolpumant d’activitats al voltant de l’astronomia i els cels foscos. Per aquest motiu el Govern de Catalunya va promoure la creació i desenvolupament del Parc Astronòmic Montsec com una eina per ajudar al desenvolupament econòmic de la regió. Aquest impuls va donar una oportunitat per aturar la pèrdua de població i la creacio i millora de noves infrastructures turístiques vinculades al cel fosc i a les activitats astronòmiques.

L’any 2013 més de 1700 km2 van ser declarats com Destinació Turística Starlight i una part d’aquesta àrea va ser també Reserva Starlight gràcies als seus fantàstics paràmetres de cel nocturn i a les accions dutes a termes en el teriirotri per a preservar-lo.

Des del 2012 es van realitzar els primers anàlisi d’impacte econòmic i social, per exemple els resultats mostrats pel procés d’evaluació i diagnosi pel disseny del ‘Pla de Desenvolupament Sostenible del Turisme Montsec 2020’ [SomMontsec 2012]. L’any 2014 un nou estudi es va realitzat sobre els visitants del Parc Astronòmic Montsec i com contribueixen en l’economia local i en les activitats alternatives a l’àrea del Montsec. Aquest estudi del 2014 es va resvisar l’any 2017 amb les noves dades de visitants i paràmetres econòmics actualitzats.

Aquests estudis ens mostren importants resultats sobre la millora de l’àrea del Montsec. Per exemple el nombre d’allotjaments s’ha doblat en un dècada, l’aturada de la pèrdua de població a l’àrea o l’estimació d’uns 2 milions d’euros d’activitat econòmica generada al territori pels visitants del Parc Astronòmic Montsec.

Paraules clau:
contaminació lumínica, economia, astroturisme

Traduzione di S. Ribas

CPNS2018-5/28: The Sky of Montsec. How a Dark Sky is Impacting the Economy of a Rural Area

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

S.J. Ribas (1) , J. Vilajoli (2)

1 – Parc Astronòmic Montsec, Consell Comarcal de la Noguera,
Camí del coll d’Ares s/n E25691 Àger, Lleida, Spain

2 – Consell Comarcal de la Noguera, C. Angel Guimera 28-30
E25600 Balaguer, Lleida, Spain

Montsec is a calcareous mountain range more than 40 kilometres long in the regions of Catalunya and Aragon in the north-east of the Iberian Peninsula. The Catalonian part includes around 20 municipalities in the counties of Pallars Jussà and La Noguera.
This area showed excellent parameters to develop activities around astronomy and dark skies. For this reason the Government of Catalonia promoted the creation and development of Parc Astronòmic Montsec as a tool to help in the economic development
of the region. This development gives the chance to stop the loss of population and the creation and upgrading of new touristic facilities related to dark skies and astronomical activities.
In 2013 more than 1700 km2 were declared as Starlight Touristic Destination and part of this area became Starlight Reserve thanks to its wonderful parameters of the night
sky and the actions taken in the area to preserve it.
Since 2012 the first’s analyses of the economic and social impact have been done in the area. For example the results shown by the evaluation process for the development of the ‘Pla de Desenvolupament Sostenible del Turisme Montsec 2020’ [SomMontsec 2012] as strategic plan for tourism in the area. In 2014 a new study was done studying the visitors of Parc Astronòmic Montsec and how they participate in the local economy and in alternative activities in Montsec area. This 2014 study has been updated with 2017 visitors and economy data available.
These studies give us important results in the improvement of Montsec area. For example the number of accommodation facilities has been doubled in the last decade, the stop of the loss of population in the area or the estimation of close to 2.0MEuros of economic activity generated in the area by the visitors of Parc Astronòmic Montsec.

light pollution, economy, astrotourism.

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)

CPNS2018-2/28: 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 pibinko.org 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: bmp@pibinko.org


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 – andreaeugenio.gini@gmail.com

(2) Museo di Storia Naturale, Università di Pisa, via Roma 79, 56011 Calci (Pisa) – Italy – marco.zuffi@unipi.it


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