Protecting our dark and starry skies -- help us at TAO save our beautiful local night sky!


Recovering and saving a local natural resource, our Dark and Starry Skies, is strongly supported by Tamke-Allan Observatory, which presents education as a process of scientific inquiry and observation. Our Dark and Starry Skies are a precious natural resource.

"Something about the night sky causes us all, young and old, to ponder over the very basic questions. We are inspired and motivated." -- Kalpana Chawla
In memory of the crew of STS-107 - February 1, 2003

Choosing a light-saving Security light for use in East Tennessee is an important step in recovering our starry skies. Have a look at a selection of possibilities.


PROTECTING DARK SKIES from the George Wright Society Forum 18:4 (2001), guest Ed. Joe Sovick

  • Toward an Appreciation of the Dark Night Sky / Joe Sovick
  • The Value of Dark Skies and of High-Quality Night Lighting—Building Public Awareness / Elizabeth M. Alvarez del Castillo and David L. Crawford
  • The Ultimate Cultural Resource? / Jerry Rogers and Joe Sovick
  • Preserving Pristine Night Skies in National Parks and the Wilderness Ethic / Dan Duriscoe
  • Let There Be Dark: The National Park Service and the New Mexico Night Sky Protection Act / Jerry Rogers and Joe Sovick
  • Visual Estimations of Night Sky Brightness / Chadwick A. Moore
  • Modeling Light Pollution from Population Data and Implications for National Park Service Lands / Steve Albers and Dan Duriscoe
  • Stargazing—A Driving Force in Ecotourism at Cherry Springs State Park / Thom Bemus
  • Chaco’s Night Lights / Brad Shattuck and G. B. Cornucopia
  • Light Pollution and Marine Turtle Hatchlings: The Straw that Breaks the Camel’s Back? / Mark Nicholas
  • Yellowstone by Night / Lynn Chan and Eleanor Clark

    See "The night sky in the world Home Page" for an excellent interpretation of what we observe about light pollution from satellite imagry.

    How do we measure the darkness of our skies? The Bortle Dark-Sky Scale (high-resolution image)

    Here is a summary article on Dark and Starry Night Skies in Our National Parks.

    The ecological perspective of our need to preserve our Dark Skies is covered in a new book, selected as an Editor's Choice by the Natural History Book Service. This book is Ecological Consequences of Artificial Night Lighting. The ecological perspective is also discussed in an article by the same authors, entitled Ecological Light Pollution.

    For more information on protecting our National Parks, see what the Crater Lake Institute is doing.

    For a wealth of more general information, see what the International Dark-Sky Association is doing. Don't miss example light fixtures designed for responsible lightning at the IDS site.

    Checkout the Light Pollution Awareness Website for light pollution news and progress!

    The Citizens for Responsible Lighting (CRL) is a nonprofit member based organization formed for the advancement of public awareness leading to light pollution and obtrusive outdoor lighting reform. Their mailing list, if you want to join, is on Yahoo.

    For more email updates, consider the DarkSky-list -- a Light Pollution information forum and discussion group seeking members and offering methods for affecting Light Pollution reform.


    TAO folks were at Crater Lake Institute's sidewalk astronomer program during daylight set-up.CLI sponsored public service viewings from August 18 through the 31st. From August 18th through the 31st members of the Crater Lake Institute engaged in public-service sidewalk astronomy at the Rim of Crater Lake. The response from the public was outstanding. Crater Lake is one of 10 best stargazing sites.

    Link to Chad Moore's 2003 Dark Sky work.

    Link to a great 2002 Dark Sky article.

    Have a look at this 2003 Green Teacher article (large file)! This is an excellent reference to good lighting.