Thursday, September 12, 2013
9:30 to 13:30 and 16:00 to 20:00 Registration
18:00 to 19:30 Welcome. Opening Conference:
Artificial light and human health
María de los Ángeles Rol de Lama, Laboratorio de Cronobiología de la Universidad de Murcia
Since life formed on our planet, it has developed under a predictable rhythmic environment. Thus, every life form
has evolved to ensure the temporal coordination with its resonating environment, a task performed by the circadian
The circadian system of mammals is composed of a hierarchically organized network of structures responsible
for the generation and synchronization of circadian rhythms to the environment. It includes a central pacemaker,
located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus, and several peripheral clocks.
The SCN acts as a music director and generates oscillations of approximately 24 hours (circadian) orchestring
the endogenous rhythmicity in physiology, behaviour and metabolism. It diffuses its temporal signal to the organism
thanks to melatonin, a hormone produced by the pineal gland known as the chemical darkness, which peaks at
night and shows low levels during day. Therefore, circadian changes in its daily production are used both, as a
daily clock informing the organism that it is night-time and as a calendar since the duration of night-time elevation
changes seasonally…whenever no light is received by the organism during the night.
A conductor needs a score, and thus the SNC needs to be reset every day by light in order to avoid free-run. The
light reaches the master clock through a nonvisual pathway consisting of the melanopsin ganglionar cells (a
specialised cells in the retina which are particularly sensitive to light of 460-480 nm, that it is to blue light) and
the retinohypothalamic tract and suppress melatonin secretion during the day or, if present, also during the night.
However, it has been only recently that night has been illuminated in order to satisfy the 24h/365 days continuous
operations, and so an increasing number of people is working night shifts or engaged in nocturnal leisure activities,
or just suffer from light intrusion in their homes. All of them imply exposure at light during the night.
A growing and increasingly convincing body of scientific evidence suggests that excessive exposure of bright light
at night (LAN) generates circadian disruption or chronodisruption, that it is, impairments in the healthy internal
temporal order. Evidences point to melatonin inhibition as the principal responsible, and blue light is the most
effective in this suppression while longer time exposures are required with warmer lights.
Epidemiological studies show that chonodisruption is associated with an increased incidence of metabolic
syndrome, cardiovascular diseases, cognitive and affective impairments, premature aging and some cancers
such as breast, prostate and colorectal and the worsening of pre-existing pathologies, so light is not harmless
In modern societies, with the morbidity and mortality demonstrated in experimental animals associated with
chronodisruption (CD), light hygiene is a major health concern. To date, we know some of the health consequences
of CD; however, only a few attempts have been made to prevent circadian disruption induced by inappropriate
lighting. Blue light should be avoided during the night in order to preserve our circadian physiology.
20:00 to 21:00 Official Welcome Reception at the Palace of Navarre
21:00 to 22:30 Free time to visit the old part of the city and join the "juevintxo"
Friday, September 13, 2013
9:30 to 13:30 and 16:00 to 19:30 Registration
9:30 to 11:00 Talks. Session 1: Lighting
Moon days, energy saving lessons
Susana Malón and María Álvarez. Lumínica Ambiental. Soc. Astronómica de Álava
Street lighting is an issue recurrently addressed for several hundred years. Analysing several historical documents, we get
an understanding of the different solutions put into practice, depending on the technology available and applied in each period.
We can also see the evolution of the concept of the public outdoor lighting service and the consideration of darkness and the
natural light of the night. These historic documents show respect and care for the environment and nature as well as social
awareness of the value of public services missing nowadays. Just looking back at what our great-grandparents did and applying
current technology with common sense we can see the essential principles currently defended by dark sky protection groups.
LED Street Lighting for Dark Sky protected areas
Ramón Llorens. SACOPA - IGNIA LIGHT
Artificial lighting for areas of Astronomical interest should meet the very strict requirements that until now could only meet
Sodium vapor lamps. It happens the same with Ecology Protected areas in order to prevent that illumination could affect to
the flora and fauna. The smart use of Amber and PC-amber LEDs in these areas opens up unthinkable expectations of light
pollution control. The presentation shows the inconvenience of lighting these areas with white LEDs due to its high emission
pick in 440nm, and how can it be solved using PC-Amber or Amber LEDs. This new technology used by SACOPA - IGNIALIGHT
has been tested in terms of affecting to nocturnal wildlife, humans, photobiological safety norms and light pollution. Some
success cases are shown in the end of the presentation.
Light Decontamination of urban areas. Criteria to be used in the present
Josep M. Ollé. Ajuntament de Reus y Universitat Rovira i Virgili
We present examples of decontamination light of urban areas, both residential as high for commercial use, lighting explaining
the criteria that were used and how technology was used, with photographs before and after the performance. Based on the
experience gained and given the current economic situation will propose more stringent limitations las advocate that the current
regulations in Spain.
11:00 to 11:30 Coffee Break
11:30 to 13:10 Talks. Session 2: Measuring Light Pollution
Ground-based imaging spectrometry for light pollution measurement
Salvador Bará. Universidad de Santiago de Compostela
Airborne imaging spectrometers have been used in light pollution monitoring to measure the upward light emissions to the
atmosphere and to detect and classify pollutant sources. In combination with suitable models of atmospheric propagation and
scattering these data allow one to make quantitative estimates of the night sky radiance, whose increase over the natural
levels is one of the most direct manifestations of the light pollution problem. However, several detrimental effects of light
pollution at ground sites are determined not only (nor mainly) by the sky radiance but by the radiance directly received from
the artificial sources through the line-of-sight and reflected paths. In this communication we report on the use of wide-field
ground based imaging spectrometry to measure the spectral radiance of the nightscape, including both natural and artificial
sources, and to estimate the spectral irradiance at the observer location. With these inputs several relevant light pollution
magnitudes (e.g, the circadian light illuminance) can be computed and the main sources contributing to them can be located
Measuring Light Pollution in Montsec: a protected area
Salvador Ribas. Parc Astronomic Montsec
Montsec Mountains are a special protected place in Catalonia (NE of Iberian Peninsula). Since mid-90’s, this area was selected
for amateur astronomers to install their astronomical observatories. In 2002 the Government of Catalonia started the project
Parc Astronòmic Montsec with the aim to have two astronomical installations: one for research and the other for outreach and
education. Dark skies are probably the most valuable thing in Montsec and for this reason this area is specially protected by
Catalonian Laws. In 2012, Parc Astronomic Montsec and the official Catalan Service against Light Pollution have developed
a measurement plan using different kind of data. The results of this study showed Montsec is one of the best places in Southern
Europe with typical sky brightness better than 21.0 and in some places between 21.5 and 22.0.
Two years Night Sky Brightness measurements In The Netherlands
Marty Haaima. RIVM
Night Sky Brightness in The Netherlands is being monitored within the MHN monitoring network since 2011. This network
measures night sky brightness continuously on nine locations. The measurement sites are located on industrial, urban, rural
and remote locations. The night sky brighntess is measured using the Sky Quality Meters (SQM-LEs). The SQMs have been
intercompared prior to installation and one year later in the international CLIC campaign. One of the goals of the network is
to determine actual levels and variability of the night sky brightness in The Netherlands. An analysis using the two year data
set is presented, key features of the results are shown and the usability of the data beyond the primary goals is discussed.
Start of Monitoring the Colors of the Night
H. Spoelstra. Lumineux Consult
The introduction of LED lighting in the outdoor environment may increase the night time blue color level and light pollution
caused by the stronger Rayleigh light scattering. Blue light may also have an impact on circadian rhythm of humans due to
the breakdown of melatonin. At present no long term data sets of color levels of the night sky are available. In order to facilitate
the monitoring the levels and variations in the night sky colors a low cost multi filter instrument is presented. Design considerations
are presented as well as the choice of suitable filters, which showed to be critical especially in the green band from 500 to
600 nm. In this spectral band available astronomical filters showed to exclude some or all of the low and high pressure sodium
lines from lamps which are important in light pollution research. For this band filters from the optical industry were chosen.
Correction factors were calculated to correct for the detector response and filter transmissions. The first results at a suburban
monitoring station showed that the light levels between 500 and 600 nm are dominant during clear and cloudy skies. The
relative contribution of blue light increases when the night sky becomes clear (without moon). The impact under moon lit skies
showed to be more complex and is still under study.
13:10 to 13:30 Poster session
Practice of public lighting in proposed German Star Parks
Andreas Hãnel. Dark Sky Germany, Museum am Schoelerberg
We made a lighting inventory of about 10000 luminaires for the proposed star parks Westhavelland and Rhoen in Germany.
From these data we derive characteristic numbers for the energy use and light emission. We detect a significant difference
between the two parks. And we propose a limiting value for street lighting for discussion.
Public awareness versus administrative sloppiness: light pollution in Valencia
Angel Morales. Dep. de Química Analítica, Univ. Valencia; Coordinadora en Defensa de los Bosques del Turia
Enric Marco. Dep. d’Astronomia i Astrofísica, Univ. Valencia; Cel Fosc Valencian Coordinator
Solving the problem of light pollution lies mainly in government (municipalities, state, regional and provincial governments).
But these are reluctant to take the plunge or even refuse to lessen their impact. Only from social groups, especially environmental
organisations, you can force change. We present two examples (Valencia airport and IVADIS residence in Manises, both
located nearby the Parc Natural del Turia) in which the administrative authorities show sloppiness and negligence to solve
the problem. We detail the initiatives undertaken by the Coordinadora in defensa de los bosques del Turia in order to reduce
light pollution in these two cases.
Radiofrequency interference. Status and challenges
F. Colomer, J.A. López Pérez and J.A. López Fernández. Instituto Geográfico Nacional (IGN)
Radio astronomy observatories around the world face the challenge of achieving high sensitivity observations of the Universe
while their sites are getting heavily affected by radio frequency interferences (RFI). Protection is difficult, and its extent depends
on national laws. We describe the status and monitoring tools used in the IGN Yebes Observatory (Spain).
Public awareness through the observation of the night sky
X. Dositeo Veiga. Albergue Os Biocos - Altega S. L.
Light pollution has become an undesirable effect of outdoor lighting. A necessary step in this debate is public awareness.
References to the waste of energy or to environmental issues tend to work well with any audience. However, these arguments
can be used to address many other problems as well. We can get more visibility and draw the attention of the public appealing
to their feelings, to their heart. This is possible if we show a clear evidence of what we are missing out due to light pollution.
A simple tool can help us to achieve this goal: the observation of the night sky. In our contemporary societies, predominantly
urban, people have lost the habit of observing the dark night sky, finding constellations, discovering the North Star, or just
enjoying the Milky Way with a naked eye. Education and outreach programs such as astronomical observations, both in an
urban setting and in a privilege location such as “Os Biocos” Hostel (Ourense), are the best solution to increase public
awareness about light pollution. Through these scientific based activities, the general public understands the magnitude of
the problem and realize what they are missing out when they are not exposed to the beauty of a night sky. Key words: public
awareness, popular science, night sky observation.
Skies over Sierra Morena, protecting one of the darkest places in Europe
José Jiménez. Dark Sky Advisors, As. Astro. Hubble, Iberus Medio Ambiente S.L., ADIT-Sierra Morena
Sierra Morena is a huge range of mountains and valleys that extends more than 370 km in southern Spain and that includes
five natural parks and one biosphere reserve. The quality of the night sky is simply amazing, reaching the stunning digit of
21.7 mag/seg arc² in many places. Nowadays, some efforts are taking place to protect this resource, this project is a good
example about how to involve local administration and the private sector in this task.
Dark Sky Conservation in Sierra Sur Range. The astronomy as a tool of social
revitalization and environnmental conservation
José Jiménez. Dark Sky Advisors, As. Astro. Hubble, Iberus Medio Ambiente S.L., ADIT-Sierra Morena
Sierra Sur is a complex territory formed by high mountains that reach almost 2000 meters over sea level, impressive cliffs
and rock walls are common in this region. The low density of population gives the chance of preserving a really dark sky at
night, so during 2013 and 2014 a project to set in value this resource is taking place there. If you like astronomy in Spain,
you probably has ear about Astromartos or the Observatory of La Pedriza, in fact local administration is doing a huge effort
to remark this places as a destiny for amateur astronomers looking for a good place to observe. An important invest is being
developed to adapt some observation places and also to certificate the region as Starlight Reserve in 2014.
Night Sky Brightness and Light Pollution in Comunidad de Madrid
J. Zamorano, A. Sánchez de Miguel, J. Gómez-Castaño, F. Ocaña, J. Gallego, B.
Pila, M. Nievas, C. Tapia, A. Fernández & S. Pascual. Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Preliminary results of a study of the night sky background brightness around the city of Madrid using Sky Quality Meter (SQM)
photometers are presented. Data retrieval methodology includes an automatic procedure to measure from a moving vehicle
which allows to speed up the data gathering.
The night sky brightness, an astronomical quality parameter that accounts for luminous flux from the sky, is closely related
with the light pollution. The map with the spatial distribution of the night sky brightness around Madrid has been compared to
the light pollution as measured with calibrated satellite imagery and nocturnal images taken by astronauts aboard the International
Space Station (ISS).
NIXNOX project: Sites in Spain where citizens can enjoy dark starry skies
J. Zamorano, A. Sánchez de Miguel, E. Alfaro, D. Martínez-Delgado, F. Ocaña, J. Gómez Castaño
& M. Nievas.. Universidad Complutense de Madrid
The NIXNOX project, sponsored by the Spanish Astronomical Society, is a Pro-Am collaboration with the aim of finding sites
with dark skies. All sky data of the night sky brightness is being obtained by amateur astronomers with Sky Quality Meter
(SQM) photometers. We are not looking for remote locations because the places should be easily accessible by people with
children. Our goal is to motivate citizens to observe the night sky. NIXNOX will provide information to answer the question:
where can I go to observe the stars with my family?
13:30 to 15:30 Lunch Break
15:30 to 17:00 Talks. Session 3: Regulations
Control and inspection of light pollution by European Environmental Police
Joan Manuel Bullón Lahuerta. Asoc. Prof. Agentes MA. de la C. Valenciana
The European Environmental Police is responsible for ensuring a healthy Environment in the European Union. Most nations
in the world have got this service trought their respective civil servants, known as Rangers. In Spain, each region is endowed
with its teams dedicated to this problems with different names. In the Valencian Comunity environmental agents, as also for
other environmental bodies in the other spanish regions, come from the State Forest Rangers of the extinct "Instituto para la
Conservación de la Naturaleza" (ICONA). The idea of this paper is to propose that the staff officer in charge of caring for forest
and environment should be prepared and able to measure light pollution, urgin enforce environmental regulations on the
protection of the dark sky and also trying to decontaminate as much as possible from polluting sources, as is done in other
types o pollution, such as spills, noise etc.. This is the reason why we should require to Spanish regional governments and
also to the European countries to incorporate into their environmental departments the fight against light pollution, work that
would be generously developed by officials belonging to the European Environmental Police in collaboration with the
corresponding environmental public prosecutor's offices.
Sky Darkness conservation efforts in Andalucía
José Jiménez. Asociación Astronómica Hubble
Andalucia is located in the south of the Iberian Peninsula. Its landscape context is formed by a huge mix of different habitat
that includes from high mountains at the east and south to big plains of open forest in the north. The population is mostly
centered in the down lands, where it's possible to find big cities like Sevilla or Malaga. This fact make possible to find many
regions where the density of people is almost nule, and that's why in this region a very well preserved dark sky is still present
nowadays. Two of these region are in this moment under a complete program of conservation and certification under the figure
of Starlight Reserve. Sierra Sur Range in the province of Jaén and Sierra Morena, that involves four provinces, Huelva, Sevilla,
Cordoba and Jaen. The entity called Dark Sky Advisors (formed by the consortium of Hubble Astronomy Association and
Iberus Medio Ambiente) is running both projects. We have accumulated a lot of experience taking measurements of the night
sky background brightness and having many meetings with the local authorities. With the process of make of the sky a valuable
resource, we're achieving our goal of preserving the darkness in our skies. In this short conference we would like to share
our experiences with anyone interesting in starting simillar projects.
18 years around the Catalonian law
Pere Horts. Cel Fosc, Asociación contra la Contaminación Lumínica
In the mid 90s a group of friends in Catalonia, united by our love for astronomy began to take the first steps to try to solve a
problem that was stealing the night, light pollution. The objective was clear: to get the lighting of the streets be more respectful
and intelligent. To do this we decided to promote a regional law committed to protect the night. We have this law since 2001,
but the main goal has not been reached yet. However, as Konstantinos Kavafis said, what matters is not reaching a Ítaka but
the road leading to it. On this way we met a lot of wonderful people like Dr. Ramon San Martin, whose memory will always
be with us, we founded Cel Fosc as a national association and got together many of those who are outraged by having to
bear and pay so poor lighting. Today we can say that all this was worth it.
The renovation of the street lighting systems in Navarre
Esperanza Aristu. Gobierno de Navarra
In this presentation we will proceed to explain the actions on public lighting implemented by the Government of Navarre in
the last years. These actions take place at the legislative level, in the sectoral plans and in the calls for aids for the renewal
of public lighting. The Regional Law 10/2005, regulating the lighting system for the protection of the night and Foral Decree
that develops it, along with the national RD1890/2008 are the legislative framework in which we have worked in recent years.
17:00 to 17:30 Coffee Break
17:30 to 19:30 Special planetarium session
20:00 to 23:30 Guided visit to Puente la Reina/Gares. Dinner in the Way to Santiago
Saturday, September 14, 2013
10:00 to 13:30 Registration
10:00 to 11:30 Talks. Session 4: Public awareness and data collection
Zernike analysis of all-sky night brightness maps
Salvador Bará. Universidade de Santiago de Compostela
All-sky night brightness maps -calibrated images of the night sky with hemispherical field-of-view taken at standard photometric
bands- provide useful data to assess the light pollution levels at any ground site. We show that these all-sky images can be
efficiently described and analyzed in terms of the Zernike circle polynomials. Besides compressing the relevant image information
into a small-sized data vector, providing analytic expressions for the spatial distribution of sky brightness, and alleviating the
effects of noise, the finite Zernike expansions allow to discriminate the spatially smooth radiance distribution due to atmospheric
scattering from that associated to pointlike natural or artificial sources. The Zernike coefficients also allow to quantify in a
straightforward way the average sky brightness, its variation across the field of view and its degree of asymmetry, providing
an easy framework to analyze the evolution of these magnitudes throughout the night.
Preliminary Data from the Loss of the Night Android App
Christopher Kyba. Freie Universitãt Berlin
The last four years have seen a major increase in the amount of information available on the levels of external light at night.
The radiance of the sky is now continuously monitored at many tens of locations worldwide, the new VIIRS instrument on the
Suomi NPP satellite has greatly enhanced spatial and radiance resolution over DMSP, and imagery from the ISS and nighttime
flights have allowed high resolution analyses. It is likely that many or all of these devices will be replaced within the next
decades by advanced instruments with different sensitivities, and this is problematic from the perspective of developing time
series. The slow evolution of the human eye makes it an ideal instrument for developing time series over a period of decades.
We have developed a smartphone app that allows citizen scientists to quantify the naked eye limiting magnitude (i.e. the
faintest visible star). This parameter is very highly correlated with skyglow, is easy to understand, and should be very stable
with time. The ubiquity of smartphones means that skyglow luminance data could be acquired worldwide, and in particular in
areas undergoing rapid development. We present the methodology of the app, and preliminary results based on data taken
in spring and summer, 2013. In addition to providing valuable data, the app has educational and cultural value. Its use requires
no prior observational experience, and users can very quickly become familiar with the names of the brightest stars and some
constellations, bringing urban dwellers into closer contact with the cosmos. Finally, the app also provides an instrument for
students to assess skyglow luminance without purchasing a lightmeter. Students can thus conduct their own projects, while
at the same time participating in a worldwide citizen science project.
Temporal evolution of light pollution sources using ISS images and others:
Alejandro Sánchez de Miguel. Universidad Complutense de Madrid
The study and control of light pollution presents several difficulties. The first of them is that the sky background brightness
depends on many factors, not only on the artificial sources of light. To study the variation of these sources, we prefer to study
them directly. The images of the International Space Station (ISS), provide us a wide range of resolutions from several kilometers
to a few meters. In these images is relatively easy to identify sources of light. However its calibration is rather complicated.
Then, the images must be related to variations in sky background brightness. In addition to the images provided by the ISS
crews, other direct detection methods such as ground imaging and the data collected by luxometers aboard balloons and
airplanes are used by our team. We will show an example for the case of Madrid.
11:30 to 12:00 Coffee Break
12:00 to 13:40 Talks. Session 5: Protected areas
Protecting Dark Skies – An Ongoing Program of Diligence and Education in
Borrego Springs, California
James Hoban Rickard. Borrego Springs Dark Sky Coalition
Obtaining the Dark Sky Community designation from IDA was just the beginning. There is an ongoing program to maintain
and improve local lighting. DILIGENCE means identifying new violations of dark sky criteria by annual surveys of lighting
fixtures and informing the owners of non-conformity. This is coupled with offers of advice about the commercial availability of
dark sky friendly fixtures. EDUCATION means generating articles for the local media, providing a postal brochure for every
resident, information for visitors at local hotels, and a new program for business recognition. We will show the kind of certificates
to be awarded to businesses to keep dark skies in the public eye. In this way everyone in the community can participate in
protecting our night sky.
Monitoring the Valencian sky. Polluted natural areas and dark places to be
Enric Marco. Universidad de Valencia, Cel Fosc
It is well known that Valencia is usually considered one of the more light polluted city in Europe. Astronomers are not the only
one affected by its pollution. It has been well reported that excessive number of artificial light points and incorrect installation
of luminaires exert strong influences on nocturnal wildlife. Three Valencian natural parks, located nearby to the Valencian
metropolitan area, are strongly polluted due its unshielded public lighting system. The introduction of LED technology into the
street lighting in many Valencian towns, supported and financed by Valencian public administrations, is the reason of the
migration from the now widely used high-pressure sodium lamps to white lamps with a strong emission peak in the blue band.
This action, promoted as an enhancement of the energy efficiency, is going to increase very quickly light pollution and even
to exert greater pressure on natural ecosystems and human health. This work presents measurements of night sky background
obtained in Valencian natural parks and some areas of interest. It also detects and characterizes pollutant hot spots and the
first effects of the cold LED lighting systems. Although very polluted areas are found near Valencia and the main Valencian
cities, it is worth noting that there are still some natural areas, such as the Natural Park Chera-Sot de Chera, and the regions
of la Serranía, el Rincón de Ademuz and els Ports with excellent dark sky. These must be protected from future environmental
assaults such as white LED lighting or flashing white light projectors for wind turbines.
Protecting Dark Sky Areas: Global Issue - Local Interests
Josiane Meier. Tec. Univ. Berlin, Dp. Urban and Reg. Planning
As a consequence of growing light pollution, areas with naturally dark nights have become scarce in many countries and are
increasingly considered to be worthy of protection. The currently most prominent way of doing so is the designation of dark
sky areas. A growing number of such areas has been designated in recent years. In order to be certified as a dark sky area
by organisations such as the IDA or RASC, public policies must be adopted and political and public support are necessary.
This presentation will first provide an overview of designated areas and designation options. Using three case studies, it will
highlight the broad range of actors and interests that play into the designation of dark sky areas.
Light Pollution in the Nature Park TerraVita
Andreas Hãnel. Dark Sky Germany
During the last 4 years we have studied the night sky brightness in the nature (and geo) park Terra.Vita around Osnabrück.
We tried to: - study the sky quality at the observatory - find the darkest places in the region - study the influence of different
light sources (like parking areas, industrial areas, cities) - developped lighting guidelines for artificial lighting to reduce light
pollution (also within the projects of star parks in Westhavelland and Rhoen). This work has been partially funded by the Bingo!
environmental protection foundation of Niedersachsen.
13:40 to 14:00 Poster session
14:00 to 16:00 Lunch Break
16:00 to 18:30 IDA Affairs: annual report, 2013 Awards and presentation of the 2014 Symposium venue.
19:30 to 20:00 Walk from the planetarium to the Cathedral
20:00 to 23:00 Visit to exhibition Occidens, Guided tour of the Cathedral, Dinner in the Refectory