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Astronomical summer in Izera Dark-Sky Park.
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I feel like I want to live
Far from the metropolis
Just walk through that door
The black night calls my name
Dead Can Dance
We can almost turn a night into a day thanks to gas discharge lamps that have been used since the mid 20th century. Cites have become islands of light which can be easily seen from space on the night side of the Earth. One can say that a human has defeated darkness affrighting him since time immemorial. It seems to be all right, but ... we have just started to understand that darkness is indispensable for the nature and for us. Unwise usage of artificial light has led to phenomenon called light pollution. A scale of this phenomenon is so large that it can be rank among such problems as chemical pollution of air, water and soil.
Darkness (and light) is the same component of the natural environment as the air, soil, water and rocks, but unfortunately this is not obvious for communities. If we protect the environment against negative effects of human activities, we should also protect darkness which is endangered by unwise usage of artificial light. Establishing so-called dark sky parks and preserves is among activities against the light pollution. Those parks and preserves, like „typical” nature reserves, perform not only conservation but also education, supporting to make society aware of how serious the problem of the light pollution is. The existence of such reserves shows that the darkness has joint other endangered components of the natural environment. At present dark sky parks and reserves exist in North America and Europe.
The idea of establishing the dark sky park in the Izera Mountains originated from a need to give society the knowledge about the light pollution. This is very important aim, because sill not enough information about this phenomenon reaches the society. Moreover, an action against the light pollution should be included in our activities the purpose of which is the the natural environment conservation.
The project is realized as a part of International Year of Astronomy 2009 activities. The Izera Dark-Sky Park is bilateral, therefore organisations from Czech Republic and Poland collaborated (and still collaborate) to establish it. From the Polish side:
From the Czech side:
On Polish side, the Izera Dark-Sky Park is a part of the astro-touristic project Astro Izery.