Everyone benefits from a Dark Sky

Why Dark Skies?

 
Image courtesy of Travis Novitsky   http://www.travisnovitsky.com

Image courtesy of Travis Novitsky   http://www.travisnovitsky.com

There's nothing more beautiful than the night sky.

That means the most beautiful thing in the world can belong to all of us.

People who live in large urban areas can no longer see the stars, so dark skies are tourism treasures.

 
 

In the global effort to reduce light pollution, the term dark sky describes a sky that isn't "lit" by skyglow or light pollution. 

But who benefits from having dark skies? Everyone.

The benefits of a dark skies are far reaching:

  • Quality-of-life
  • Tourism
  • Supporting the Environment
  • Health & Safety
  • Energy efficiency
  • Aesthetic beauty

We see Duluth and other communities around Lake Superior as a place for national recognition for our dark skies. It'll bring pride and tourism, and become a place to reconnect with the cosmos in an increasingly light-polluted world.

 

Quality of Life:

Imagine taking winter walks under the Milky Way, or your family being able to see the Northern Lights from your doorstep.

Tourism:

Astrotourism is a growing market, and becoming a certified Dark Sky Community will be yet another draw to Duluth and the region. 

Light pollution from large urban areas like Minneapolis or Chicago spread skyglow for hundreds of miles. People will travel to experience the beauty of our night skies.

Aesthetic beauty:

Caring for how we light our communities will make our world more beautiful. Everything, from our neighborhoods to gas stations to historic areas, are characterized by their lighting. Let's ensure beautiful, safe, and conscientious lighting for everyone.

 

 


Why Dark Skies for Lake Superior?

Light pollution travels hundreds of miles. So while dark skies are a community effort, it's also a regional one. More importantly, it means that only a few places in the United States have the opportunities for starry skies like we do.

For those in proximity to a large city, the challenges of creating clean night skies are compounded not just by enormous skyglow but on coordination of dozens of suburbs and towns. In comparison, you can see for yourself how western Lake Superior, including the Twin Ports, is perfectly positioned to be a dark sky destination. 

For us along Lake Superior, dark skies are an incredible resource, and something we should cultivate.

 

Supporting the Environment:

Did you know that light pollution affects the fish in the lake? Trees? Darkness plays a critical role in the ecosystem. When we make sure our lights are star-friendly, we protect the proper functioning of our ecosystems.

Health & Safety:

Light is a crucial component to nighttime safety. However, more light isn't necessarily safer. Reducing glare, avoiding loss of low-light vision, and maintaining contrasts are all essential to maintaining good driving conditions, safe walking environments, and reducing light pollution.

Studies have recently shown that some "blue" lights can also disrupt our circadian rhythm, harming our melatonin production. 

Energy efficiency:

You wouldn't leave a hose on all night! "Wasted" light (pointed at the sky or poorly aimed light) wastes 3 billion dollars annually! Moreover, adopting "smart" lighting systems, that adjust to the moon or traffic patterns, are good for everyone.