Dark-Sky Site Program

Dark-Sky Site Program

The aim of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada's Dark-Sky Site Program is to recognize sites that are contributing to the reduction of light pollution, educating the public about dark skies, and liaising with municipalities to improve lighting legislation. In order to receive a designation, sites must fulfill certain requirements in regards to lighting, sky quality, and outreach.

There are three designations within the Dark-Sky Sites program: Dark-Sky Preserves, Nocturnal Preserves, and Urban Star Parks. Learn about each designation below.

 

Dark-Sky Preserve (DSP)

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A Dark-Sky Preserve is an area in which no artificial lighting is visible and active measures are in place to educate and promote the reduction of light pollution to the public and nearby municipalities. Sky glow from beyond the borders of the Preserve will be of comparable intensity, or less, to that of natural sky glow. Nighttime access is required.

 

Nocturnal Preserve (NP)

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A Nocturnal Preserve is an area in which artificial lighting is strictly controlled and efforts to engage municipalities in the reduction of light pollution are ongoing. The primary focus is to protect the nocturnal environment. Nighttime access for astronomical viewing is not a prerequisite, so public outreach programs may not be as robust as those of the other designations.

 

Urban Star Park (USP) 

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An Urban Star Park is an area in which artificial lighting is strictly controlled and active measures are in place to educate and promote the reduction of light pollution to the public and nearby municipalities. Sky glow from beyond the borders of the Reserve may be visible to observers within the area, but the skies are still usable for astronomy.

 

 

 

Find a designated Dark-Sky Site in Canada near you!

 

 

 

Above: 2021 International Dark-Sky Week; Dark-Sky Site Designations
Author: 
Anonymous
Last modified: 
Monday, August 30, 2021 - 3:15pm