Why are Dark Skies important?

There are at least nine reasons to reduce light pollution and to protect the natural night sky. 

They go beyond nature conservation to touch upon appropriate design and land development control policies.

To preserve the ecological integrity of natural environments.

To ensure the full enjoyment of a wilderness experience.

To appreciate the integrity, character and beauty of rural landscapes.

To protect and present the commemorative integrity (authenticity) of cultural sites.

To contribute to energy efficiency.

To preserve traditions that relate to celestial mythologies, navigation and other cultural aspects.

To protect human health, both medical and psychological.

To benefit scientific and amateur astronomy and the right to enjoy the night sky.

To improve personal security through non-glare lighting in urban areas.

Losing the Dark

Starry skies are a vanishing treasure because light pollution is washing away our view of the cosmos.

It not only threatens astronomy, it disrupts wildlife, and affects human health. The yellow glows over cities and towns — seen so clearly from space — are testament to the billions spent in wasted energy from lighting up the sky.

 To help raise public awareness of some of the issues pertaining to light pollution, Loch Ness Productions in collaboration with the International Dark-Sky Association has created a 6.5-minute "public service announcement" called Losing the Dark. It introduces and illustrates some of the issues regarding light pollution, and suggests three simple actions people can take to help mitigate it. Losing the Dark was initially created in fulldome video format for digital planetarium use. It also has been made as a conventional flat screen video, for use in classrooms, kiosks, museum theaters, and advocate multimedia presentations. 

Classic planetarium theaters without fulldome capability can show this version using their traditional video projectors. 

More information and links to downloads visit the IDA website.

Losing the Dark is a joint production of the International Dark-Sky Association and Loch Ness Productions.

Outreach and Education programmes and events? 

Become part of the AMIDSR Dark Skies community at local events.

What do I do if I see light pollution in the Mackenzie?

If you have a concern about a light source please contact a member of the AMIDSR Board or the Mackenzie District Council. 

How can I tell the world that I support the dark sky reserve?

Dark Sky Friendly spaces will soon be recognised in the Reserve with AMIDSR certification.  To express your interest in becoming certified as a Dark Sky Friendly space click here.

The new world atlas of artificial night sky brightness

'Artificial lights raise night sky luminance, creating the most visible effect of light pollution—artificial skyglow. Despite the increasing interest among scientists in fields such as ecology, astronomy, health care, and land-use planning, light pollution lacks a current quantification of its magnitude on a global scale. To overcome this, we present the world atlas of artificial sky luminance, computed with our light pollution propagation software using new high-resolution satellite data and new precision sky brightness measurements. This atlas shows that more than 80% of the world and more than 99% of the U.S. and European populations live under light-polluted skies. The Milky Way is hidden from more than one-third of humanity, including 60% of Europeans and nearly 80% of North Americans. Moreover, 23% of the world’s land surfaces between 75°N and 60°S, 88% of Europe, and almost half of the United States experience light-polluted nights.'  Fabio Falchi1,*, Pierantonio Cinzano1, Dan Duriscoe2, Christopher C. M. Kyba3,4, Christopher D. Elvidge5, Kimberly Baugh6, Boris A. Portnov7, Nataliya A. Rybnikova7 and Riccardo Furgoni1,8

New Zealand - Towards a Dark Sky Nation

AMIDSR is taking a leadership role in developing the concept of New Zealand as a Dark Sky Nation.