What is light pollution? Light pollution is defined as the introduction of artificial light to an ecosystem (into naturally dark situations), degrading its natural state with the emission of light of different intensities, directions, spectral range and/or unnecessarily varying a light/dark schedule (ie. having lights on a empty office building or streets lights on after certain times). It is obvious that humans need and use artificial light during the night just...well...simply to live. But the use of artificial light should be in equilibrium with the nocturnal life, energy efficiency and health (avoiding the alteration of sleep patterns and the effect of artificial light at night on some cancers). We should try to minimize the impact of light pollution reducing the negative effects by designing better street lighting, scheduling of street lights, etc. Light pollution increases the background brightness of the sky by reflecting and diffusion artificial light into the gases and particles in the air. This results in a reduction of visibility of the stars and other celestial objects. The Sky Law in the Canary Islands (1989) controls gas emissions to the atmosphere on the island, as well as light pollution and air communications routes. The aim of the law is to have transparent and dark sky, with good (if not outstanding) quality for both amateur and professional astronomy. As a result, La Palma is a Dark Reserve (a Starlight Reserve) and thanks to this it has developed a Sustainable Tourism Industry based on the sky. There are many options for astrotourism in La Palma, we recommend you to enjoy the sky in one of our astronomy tours.
What is light pollution? Light pollution is defined as the introduction of artificial light to an ecosystem (into naturally dark situations), degrading its natural state with the emission of light of different intensities, directions, spectral
Who has stolen the stars? Light pollution has stolen most of the stars from our sky. We cannot see them now properly except in some places. In La Palma for example we can still see a very dark sky and the Milky Way easily. This is a shame, but hopefully we can travel to be able to see it with our own eyes. What is the Milky Way? The Milky Way is the galaxy in which Earth and the Solar System lies. It contains more than 200 000 million of stars and its diameter is estimated to be about 100 000 light-years (about 420 000 000 000 000 000 Km). From a dark location on Earth, we can only see a tiny part of our galaxy, only our neighbouring stars really. And only if you are on those dark locations you may be lucky enough to see the disk of the galaxy. About 50 years ago, everybody was able to identify the Milky Way in the sky even if they did not know what it really was. Nowadays, due to light pollution, it is estimated than less of 70 % of Earth population in Europe or United States have ever seen the Milky Way. This is because, the light pollution has stolen the light of the stars. La Palma is still one of those few places on this planet from which the stars and dark sky are visible, even from populated towns. This is thanks to light pollution being controlled by law (Law of the sky, 1989). So, do come to La Palma! You now know that besides the beautiful landscapes and protected areas on the island, visitors can also enjoy the light of the stars. You can even try to reach them with the tips of your fingers!
Who has stolen the stars? Light pollution has stolen most of the stars from our sky. We cannot see them now properly except in some places. In La Palma for example we can still see
The astronomical viewpoints are accessible places with open views to the sky and that serve to interpret the stars in the open air. In La Palma these places have explanatory panels and car parks. There is an astronomical viewpoint by council plus two viewpoints above the 2000 meters height, so there is a total of 16 astronomy viewpoints. In these viewpoints is where most of the activities for general public related to astronomy on the island take place, either organized by companies in the sector or by individuals. Still, they are not the only sites that can used to observe the sky on the island as the very little light pollution in La Palma allows to stargaze nearly everywhere. More information
The astronomical viewpoints are accessible places with open views to the sky and that serve to interpret the stars in the open air. In La Palma these places have explanatory panels and car parks. There
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