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Eco-Friendly Stargazing: How AstroTours.org Combats Light Pollution

We believe that the beauty of the night sky should be accessible to everyone. However, one of the biggest challenges to this vision is light pollution. It's not just an astronomer's concern; it affects ecosystems, human health, and our connection to the natural world. In our commitment to eco-friendly stargazing, we actively combat light pollution and encourage others to join us in this vital cause.


how to lower light pollution while still having light

Red Lights for Night Vision

During our tours, every participant is equipped with red lights. Unlike white lights, red lights minimize the impact on night vision, allowing our eyes to remain adapted to the dark. This small yet significant measure ensures that our stargazers can enjoy the splendor of the night sky without contributing to light pollution.


light pollution across america

Activism in Action: Preserving Dark Skies

Our commitment goes beyond our tours. We actively participate in initiatives to preserve dark skies. A notable example was our involvement in a letter-writing campaign to prevent light pollution in Utah's national parks. Our concerted efforts helped maintain the pristine darkness of these natural wonders, crucial for both astronomical observation and the health of local wildlife.


Local Engagement: Making Boulder Dark Sky-Friendly

In Boulder, Colorado, our home base, we're taking concrete steps to reduce light pollution. We guide residents on how to report outdoor lighting violations and encourage the use of shielded, downward-facing light fixtures. You can anonymously report outdoor lighting violations in Boulder's zoning violations hub here: https://user.govoutreach.com/boulder/faq.php?cmd=shell under the “Code Enforcements” menu and "Zoning Code Violations" topic and let the city know if you would like to report an outdoor lighting complaint. It’s not like your neighbor will have their door kicked in by the light police but they might get a strongly worded letter from the city and possibly a fine if they don’t reduce their light pollution. To incentivize this, we offer discounts on our tours for those who upgrade their outdoor lighting to more night-sky-friendly options. we’re offering to split the cost of any lighting upgrades you and your neighbors do. If you upgrade any lighting fixtures send me a picture of the light (before and after photos that I can feature on social media are preferred but if you don’t want me to share your pictures just let me know), and a photo of the receipt. I will send a discount of half the price of the lighting fixture up to 42$ (full price of a tour!)

Light Pollution: A Global Concern

Light pollution is more than just a barrier to stargazing. It disrupts wildlife, wastes energy, and has been linked to adverse health effects in humans. To combat this, we advocate for simple yet effective solutions: using motion-sensor lights, opting for LEDs with a warm amber hue, and ensuring lights are on only when needed.

Practical Steps Everyone Can Take

  1. Shield Your Outdoor Lights: Ensure all outdoor lighting is directed downwards and adequately shielded.

  2. Motion Sensors and Timers: Use motion sensors and timers to keep lights off when they’re not needed.

  3. Community Action: Work with your neighbors to create a dark-sky-friendly community. It’s not just about reducing light; it’s about using it wisely.


Our Educational Efforts

Education is a powerful tool. Through our tours and community events, we educate the public about the impact of light pollution. By explaining the science behind it and demonstrating how everyone can make a difference, we're building a community of informed, environmentally conscious stargazers.


Join Us Under the Stars

Our fight against light pollution is ongoing, but every small step brings us closer to a sky full of stars for everyone to enjoy. By joining an AstroTours.org tour, not only will you experience the beauty of the night sky, but you'll also be part of a larger movement to protect our natural nightscapes.


Book a tour with us at AstroTours.org and be a part of this celestial journey. Together, we can rediscover the night sky in its full glory, one star at a time. 🌌🔭✨

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