University of Calgary

Astronomers discuss over-use of light during Earth Hour

Public invited for educational presentations, sky tours and stargazing through telescopes

March 12, 2014

Earth Hour reminds us that each individual has an everyday impact on the world through the use of electricity. This year, Earth Hour takes place on Saturday, March 29 at 8:30 p.m.

There is an interesting effect that happens during Earth Hour; when everyone turns off their lights as well as light-emitting devices such as televisions, computers, mobile phones and tablets, the night sky gets darker. This phenomenon has prompted Earth Hour observers to also reflect on the downside of continuous and excessive artificial lighting.

In cooperation with the Calgary Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, University of Calgary astronomers invite the public to participate in Earth Hour at the Rothney Astrophysical Observatory.

The event includes a screening of the award-winning documentary The City Dark: a Search for Night on a Planet that Never Sleeps followed by a Q&A. If the sky is clear, guests will have the opportunity to gauge the darkness of the night sky through a unique demo powered by TheGlobeAtNight.org. Attendees will also have access to professional telescopes for stargazing.


What:   Public Earth Hour event                                            
                                                                           
Who:    Phil Langill, University of Calgary, RAO Director                  
                                                                           
Where:  Rothney Astrophysical Observatory - east side of Hwy 22, 2.4 km    
        south of the Hwy 22 and Hwy 22x interchange                        
                                                                           
When:   Saturday March 29                                                  
        6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.                                             
                                                                           
Cost:   Free. Donations for the Food Bank accepted.