Dark Skies. Why are they important? This is something we are very keen to explore this festival as the issue has wide reaching implications. Dr Duane Hamacher will be talking about it from the Indigenous cultural perspective and Dr Theresa Jones will be talking about dark skies from a biological viewpoint(details coming soon) in the Energy Lab, we have Ian Cheney’s movie The City Dark showing in the Test Lab area, the International Dark Skies Association (VIC) have a stall on the Ground Floor and we will be featuring a panel discussion in the CAASTRO Amphitheatre.
Dark Skies Panel
Join the discussion and ask your most burning questions about the need for dark skies. Also check out this interactive light pollution map to see how Australia compares to the rest of the world and how the levels have changed in recent times. In Australia we are very lucky to have some of the darkest skies and so many people invested in keeping it that way!
All astronomers will tell you the best viewing occurs when you have zero light pollution. There is so much more to see when the surroundings are completely dark, not only through a telescope but with just your eyes as well. Judith Bailey from Ballarat Observatory and Secretary of the Victorian branch of the International Dark Skies Association will be speaking on behalf of astronomy.
Our Circadian Rhythm is important for our behaviour and our sleep patterns, but it goes beyond that and messing with our circadian rhythm can mess with our biology with far reaching medical issues. Dr Theresa Jones from the University of Melbourne, School of BioSciences, investigates how disrupting the circadian rhythm affects the behaviour and biology of invertebrates and vertebrates and will be sharing the current research.
Combatting light pollution or introducing sustainable lighting is becoming more important in urban planning as we begin to understand the effects of our streets being lit up all night for safety, digital promotion and our own piece of mind. Dr Margaret Grose from the University of Melbourne’s School of Design talks about the balance of these two priorities and how we can work towards reducing light pollution while maintaining an appropriate level of safety with our urban lighting.
The discussion will be moderated by Adam Carey of Citelum, the international lighting company who help cities create beautiful lighting with a mind towards preserving our dark skies. Make sure you take the time to join in this ever important discussion.
Check the Program page for the full schedule.