Preserving Darkness

France is hoping to establish a "darkness reserve" by regulating street lighting in towns and villages near a mountaintop observatory.
April 6, 2009, 9am PDT | Nate Berg
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"The goal is to establish a zone with a radius of six to nine miles around the 130-year-old Pic du Midi mountain observatory so that views of the cosmos are not spoiled by intrusive light on the ground.

The first steps will be made on June 11, when local villages sign a charter to regulate street lighting to ensure it does not trespass on viewing, said Sebastien Vauclair, an astrophysicist who is deputy chairman of a group that has been campaigning for the move.

The goal is to eventually qualify for certification under the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), which claims a following among thousands of astronomers and educators in more than 70 countries in a campaign to curb light pollution."

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Published on Friday, April 3, 2009 in Discovery
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