Protecting the night sky is not just a cause célèbre among astronomers any more. In recent years this issue has drawn the interest of biologists, behavioral researchers, park managers, lighting engineers, public-safety officials, and even anti-terrorism experts.
All of these disciplines will be represented a two-day conference on “The Night: Why Dark Hours are So Important.” The symposium takes place on February 21-22 at the Carnegie Institution in Washington, DC. A wide array of experts will address the effects of artificial illumination on the behavior and health of both people and animals, public safety, energy efficiency, and our use and enjoyment of the night sky. Cosponsors include the American Astronomical Society, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, the International Dark-Sky Association, and the National Science Foundation.
The event is free and open to the public. Program details and registration information are available at the symposium's website.