THE STARRY SKY THE HERITAGE OF HUMANITY
The starry sky constitutes one of the most inspiring spectacles there is. A universal experience that is as gripping as it is inspiring, the contemplation of the stars stirs our conscience and makes us deeply sense our mysterious bond with the Universe. This priceless cultural heritage is today threatened with disappearance: the growing artificial light emanating from cities is increasingly blurring the night sky. While the Milky Way was familiar to everyone a mere few decades ago, it is now unknown to most of the population.
THE IMPACT OF LIGHT POLLUTION
The expression “light pollution” describes the sources of artificial light that create a nuisance for the human or natural environment. While the negative impact of light pollution which has attracted all the attention is the covering of the stars, there are many others: intrusive light, glare, denaturalisation of nocturnal landscapes, upsets in the ecosystems, hormonal disruptions, energy waste, and so on. In Quebec, we estimate that the energy spent to needlessly light the sky costs about $50 million annually, a waste of our resources that are literally thrown out the window, into the atmosphere!
THE STARRY SKY RESERVE
In 2003, the ASTROLab created a project to help counter light pollution. The plan revolves around three axes: the awareness, regulation and conversion of lighting. Elaborated in collaboration with different partners (observatory, universities, Parcs Québec, amateur astronomers), the project is also well integrated with the regional community and is financed by funds earmarked for energy efficiency. In total, more than 3,300 lighting devices have been replaced in the region, bringing about a reduction of about 25% in light pollution as well as contributing to important cost savings.
To ensure the permanence of the astronomical vocation of Mont Mégantic, the ASTROLab has created the Starry Sky Reserve, the first of its kind in the world.SEE_MAP
189, route du Parc
1 800 665-6527