Good news for anybody in the Gauteng province of South Africa who is interested in astronomy or light pollution: I have been given the exciting opportunity to present a talk on 28 June for the Rhenosterspruit conservancy on Light Pollution and its effects on humans and the environment. I always enjoy giving these talks, and I’d love to have you all join us for the talk, and for a picnic/braai afterwards. Bring your telescope, if you have one, or look through mine!
Light pollution is probably the least well-known form of pollution. People seldom see it as a problem at all, and are proud of their ability to banish the night and bring light to the darkest shadows. But all this light comes at a price. Most obviously, astronomers have to shut down their observatories and move to ever more remote locations, just to see the stars they study. But it is becoming obvious that artificial light affects all of us. Excessive or badly-designed lighting not only hides the stars from view, it disrupts the behaviour of nocturnal animals, blinds passing motorists, harms human health and paradoxically can even make us more vulnerable to crime. Allen will explain the various ways in which these problems are caused and present a few guidelines to help reduce the harm while still letting us keep the lights on.
After the talk, all are welcome to stay and join us for a picnic or braai, and when it gets dark we’ll be looking at a few of the winter sky’s best features. If you own a telescope, or binoculars, please bring them along. If not, we’d love to let you have a look through one of ours!
Time: 14:30 for 15:00, followed by a Bring&Braai and star-gazing
Venue: The Sheds, off Gemstone Road in the Rhenosterspruit Nature Conservancy (directions, map below)
Cost: R60 pp; R30 for kids under 12. If you want to stay for the stargazing, bring your own braai/picnic and warm clothing.