The Night: Why Dark Hours Are So Important (The Night Symposium)

Venue: The Carnegie Institution

Location: Washington, District Of Columbia, United States

Event Date/Time: Feb 21, 2007 End Date/Time: Feb 22, 2007
Registration Date: Feb 22, 2007
Early Registration Date: Jan 26, 2007
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Over 99 percent of the people of the United States and Europe live in light polluted areas.* They can no longer see the Milky Way with the naked eye – barely half can see even a few stars from their backyards. This is only a small fraction of the problem. Ranging from reproductive activities to food source availability to migratory habits, nocturnal creatures are adversely affected by the loss of starlight and/or the addition of unnecessary artificial night lighting. Additionally, light pollution is one of the most visible examples of wasted energy and consequential environmental degradation.

This symposium will coordinate and focus discussion from seemingly disparate disciplines into the perfect multidisciplinary topic – the night. It will focus on the nighttime environment and its wide-ranging connection to such disciplines as astronomy, biology, ecology, energy, engineering, government, human health, outdoor lighting, and urban planning. By including top researchers, educators, innovators, and executives, this conference will highlight the importance and necessity of bridging disciplines in order to preserve society’s heritage of dark skies and present a quality nighttime environment.

Without the inspiration of starlight and the night, much of the world’s science, literature, art, and music may never have been created. Consequently, what our children under urban sky glow are missing today may be incalculable to our future. And calculating our best future is the intent of this symposium.

* Cinzano, P., Falchi, F., & Elvidge, C.D. (2001) “The First World Atlas of the Artificial Night Sky Brightness,” Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 328(3), 689-707 doi: 10.1046/ j.1365-8711.2001.04882.x


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Additional Information

Registration for the event is free; however, entrance into the auditorium requires a symposium name badge. Pre-registration by Friday, January 26, 2007 is recommended, as this is a popular event and seating is limited. Remaining seats will be available on a first come, first served basis. This symposium presents an evolving discussion on issues of the night, so attendance to all sessions is encouraged, though not required. Each individual and guest must register separately.