The Dark Sky Movement

A rapidly expanding coalition of ordinary citizens, neighborhood associations,HOAs,school groups, universities, the military, city planners, architects, builders, lighting designers, outdoor enthusiasts, conservationists, the National Park Service, and professional and amateur astronomers are working to reclaim our dark-sky heritage.

At least 18 states, including Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, California and Texas, and over 300 cities and counties have adopted dark-sky lighting regulation. Sun Valley ID and Aspen CO have enacted what many believe to be particularly effective lighting ordinances among forward-thinking Western resort communities. Weber County enacted a dark sky ordinance for Ogden Valleyin 2000, the first in the state of Utah.

Communities andparks are beginning to develop dark-sky events and market themselves(particularly to residents of urban areas in Europe, the East Coast and Southern California) as dark-sky friendly, thereby boosting local economies with compelling, but increasingly rare natural attractions: a dark sky, the stars, the moon, the Milky Way.

Further, with coal-fired, nuclear and natural gas power sources under pressure, an increased imperative of energy conservation has led to reassessing outdoor lighting and common brighter-is-better sentiments. With dark-sky preservation, not only is energy saved, but security is improved.

Additionally, there is growing scientific evidence that light pollution interferes with human health, wildlife circadian rhythms and migration patterns and specific chemical reactions that help scrub the air of CO2 pollution, an issue which has become especially acute for the Wasatch Front.

NASA satellite photographs (aggregated below) support estimates that, because of growing light pollution, the Milky Way is invisible to the majority of the world’s population.

Global Artificial Brightness (NASA)

2016 Ogden Valley GEM Committee /Ogden Valley UT Chapter, International Dark-Sky Association (www.starrynightsutah.org) (www.darksky.org)