Bob Gent Past president, International Dark-Sky Association; Past president, Astronomical League
Do you enjoy a beautiful night sky? Well of course you do, or you wouldn't be receiving a copy of this magazine. Have you ever spent money on our hobby? I am guessing the answer is yes. In my case, I have built an observatory, and I have bought a lot of telescopes and other astronomical equipment. The point is that many of us spend a lot on astronomy.
If we are spending money on astronomy, then shouldn't we also be helping the one organization that protects our night sky? There is only one organization totally dedicated to night sky protection. That's the International Dark-Sky Association.
Of the many thousands of people who are amateur astronomers, how many are members of the International Dark-Sky Association? This is the really shocking answer: very few, perhaps less than a few hundred. Do you ﬁnd this distressing? Well, I for one ﬁnd it unbelievable and profoundly disappointing.
We are all facing a global emergency. It's the explosion of bad LED lighting. These are high glare and overly bright street lights, parking lot lights, and a rapid installation of thousands of new LED signs and billboards. Many do not comply with IDA's newly updated Fixture Seal of Approval program. Thank goodness, IDA is leading the charge to help us.