A StarPark is a window to the firmament that each community voluntarily designates to enjoy the starry night sky. Its function is to claim and secure the right to starlight, especially for future generations.
Just as communities designate areas for recreation, sport, the enjoyment of nature or silence, these same sites and others can be places where the starry sky is enjoyed. A StarPark is an oasis that each community designates for stargazing/observing, a site where to learn under the stars, with a view to progressively enlarge its area of influence.
The “One Star at a Time” program is a worldwide effort to create accessible public spaces to view a starry night sky. The program uses night sky conservation to unite people across the planet, their cultures and their skies.
A StarPark can be….
- a permanent or temporary designation.
- a square, a park, a sports field, a community area, a school, a commercial space or natural area close to the community where the beauty of the starry sky is protected against increasing sky glow.
- a place where thoughtful lighting practices permit the best public viewing of the night sky within the area. It does not have to be a site whose sky is exceptional in terms of astronomical quality. It is enough to increase the number of visible stars by reducing the harmful effects of light pollution in the immediate area.
- a place where stars and other celestial phenomena are observed with telescopes, binoculars, or naked eye.
- a place where cultural or artistic activities take place under the stars, where star-related musical heritage or traditional folklore are celebrated and preserved for future generations.
- tiny (even a rooftop) or huge plots.
- a nature area, and especially in every national park and other important protected areas.
- either a tangible or intangible cultural heritage site of each community where the vision of the stars or the ancestral knowledge of astronomy is a reference; a place where an alliance between the past and the future is forged.
- a scientific center, an observatory, a museum or a technological center promoting practical educational activities on astronomy, the knowledge of the Universe or the fight against light pollution.
- a cruise ship, sail/dive/ferry boat or similar where the public has access to night sky tours aboard ship to view an eclipse, meteor shower, or simply get familiar with the constellations, listen to stories of mythology, learn about navigation by starlight, basics of light pollution, and the like.
- a place for families to come and explore the night sky together.
- a gathering area under the stars for the enjoyment of this common heritage of the community.
The ultimate goal is to have every community in the world designate at least one StarPark. It is therefore important that every new community includes the StarPark concept in its initial plans, both to designate a specific area and to include the night sky dimension in planned public spaces and parks.
Even if most adults have lost their connection with the Universe, we can still avoid being accomplices in the theft of stars from our children. We can recover the magnificence of the starry night sky, to once again inspire and nurture the hearts and souls of all the children of this pla- net. This is the goal at its core, to preserve a right intrinsic to humanity. Each StarPark sows a seed of opportunity for change, because the starlight is a common heritage to be defended by all.
The World Atlas of the Artificial Night Sky Brightness
The Global StarPark Network can play an important role in monitoring the sky quality
Reasons to record the sky quality of each StarPark:
- Track its improvement.
- Acknowledge and certify improvements & set milestones
- Give information on sky quality for travelers who may want to visit a StarPark, and plan their trip accordingly.
- Accomplish their function of educational and teaching laboratories for the use of new accessible, more or less complex tech- nologies, always taking into account the possibilities of each site.
- Contribute to the necessary knowledge requested by new scientific ways which are being developed of overlaying the collected data to better understand how light pollution affects wildlife, biodiversity, scotobiology, as well as human health.
- Measurements of any kind, whether simple or complex, are a very important educational vector for understanding the quality of the sky. Many people know that noise or air pollution can be measured, but they are not aware of the dark sky dimension. “The communities themselves become guards of their starlight heritage”.
- Neighboring communities’ efforts to reduce light pollution can accomplish something really special over an especially revered area, such as the night sky over a National Park.The Global StarPark Network can play an important role in global connectedness
- One People*One sky. A starry night sky is the one common natural resource that all people share. Night sky conservation and shared enthusiasm of discovery in cosmic mysteries can be a uniting force across this planet.
- StarParks as a whole constitute a global and intercultural space to defend the night sky and the access to starlight, as a common heritage of humankind survived across times and cultures.
- The opportunity of global collaboration and interaction at a young age so that children may develop tolerance, respect and appreciation of diverse backgrounds and perspectives… a step towards global peace.
- Light pollution is a global issue and it is best solved on a global scale. We can best respond locally when energized globally. Individual efforts take on new meaning and add synergy. All citizens, of all ages and nationalities collaborating together can discover solutions to any challenge.
- The minimization of impacts of light pollution combines with the growing need to promote energy efficiency to mitigate climate change consequences….Recovering starlight is up to us
This is a story of how people
from around the world united together
to give the gift of natural starlight for all children of this planet.
A National Parks Service study predicts that unless we can significantly reduce light pollution, by 2025 only 10% of people in the United States will EVER see a starry night sky in their LIFETIME. Similar concerns are coming from all around the world.
“One Star at a Time, Reclaim the starry night sky” is a campaign to engage and unite the public on a global scale to reduce light pollution so that we may reconnect with the stars and each other. The motto of Astronomers Without Borders is “One People*One Sky”. If we can unveil the inspirational night sky we share with all people of this planet, and share experiences and explorations of the cosmos together, we may regain steps toward peace… the greatest gift we could ever give to our children.
One Star at a Time invites individuals to pledge to reduce light pollution coming from their own home or business.
One Star is a strong devoted citizen effort to open at least one StarPark within every community on the planet, every national & state park and other precious public lands.
The Global StarPark Network is meant to include every single public stargazing/observation site in the world… large or small. Regardless of the skyglow surrounding them, care has been taken to reduce light pollution where possible in the immediate vicinity.
One Star encourages all existing public stargazing sites to be immediately registered as a StarPark in the Global StarPark Network. These sites will range wildly from a tiny rooftop observing site in a city, to a World Heritage Site in Italy, to a tennis court turned StarPark at night, to hotel resort grounds or cruise ship far from any port where celestial observations and mythology stories are shared.
These StarParks will be encouraged to keep SQM, Globe at Night, and Bortle ratings which data is continuously expanding for ecological/scotobiology research purposes.
They will be linked to a website to encourage eco-tourism, support and global collaboration… and show a growing international synergy to protect our cultural theritage of a starry night sky for future generations.