Preserving the Dark Skies


Preserving the Dark Skies

Light Pollution organizations links

world light pollution map
Satellite view of the World at Night taken by NASA
Copyright: C. Mayhew & R. Simmon (NASA/NGDC, DMSP Digital Archive).

The following links provide information regarding the effort to protect the dark skies over northern Chile and other parts of the world.

In northern Chile, the Chilean government’s equivalent of the Environment Protection Agency (CONAMA) - together with the three, large, international, optical observatories (AURA, ESO and CARSO) - have set up the Office for the Protection of the Quality of the Skies of Northern Chile. The mission of this Office is to educate and inform the Chilean public and authorities about the “norma luminica” – a Presidential Supreme Decree which was signed in 1998. See, e.g.:
Oficina de Proteccion de la Calidad del Cielo del Norte de Chile page in Spanish

At an international level, AURA has been working with its counterparts in Spain, Northern Chile, Hawaii and South Africa to seek to work with UNESCO and the relevant government authorities to obtain additional protection for these professional sites. See, e.g.:


A world map of the night-sky brightness, based on modeling of satellite data can be found at:

Efforts are underway to complete a second edition based on data taken a decade later.

International educational initiatives related to this subject include the International Dark Sky Association:


Globe at Night: ,


and The World at Night:



Chile Light Pollution map by Cinzano
Light Pollution in Northern Chile
Credit: P. Cinzano, F. Falchi (University of Padova), C. D. Elvidge (NOAA National Geophysical Data Center, Boulder). Copyright Royal Astronomical Society. Reproduced from the Monthly Notices of the RAS by permission of Blackwell Science.

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