Dark sky conference set to be out of this world

This amazing photograph was taken in Galloway Forest Park by Jesse Beaman of Stargazing Scotland.
This amazing photograph was taken in Galloway Forest Park by Jesse Beaman of Stargazing Scotland.

Preparations for Europe’s first ever Dark Sky Places conference in the heart of the Galloway & Southern Ayrshire Biosphere are well underway, with top speakers booked to promote the preservation of dark skies across the world.

The conference, being held 20th to 22nd September this year, will tackle issues of light pollution and its effects on stargazing, the environment and tourism.

Speakers include John Brown, Astronomer Royal for Scotland, astronomer Dr Al Grauer, and physicist and Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society Christopher Baddiley.

Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham, is expected to give the opening address.

Keith Muir, Tourism and Recreation Manager for Forest Enterprise Scotland said: “With world class speakers and delegates coming to the event, we’re guaranteed to have great discussions and a chance to learn more from the experts.

“Speakers will tackle the debates surrounding light pollution and the built environment. The workshops will share best practice and find solutions how we can preserve our precious dark sky places.

“The event is also great news for the region as it will help reinforce the Galloway Dark Sky Park as one of the best places on the planet to go stargazing.”

Astronomers, lighting specialists, town planners, environmentalist and academics are to attend the conference which is to be held at the Cally Palace Hotel in Gatehouse of Fleet.

Galloway Forest Park is home to the Dark Sky Park.

The Park is at the core of the regional lighting LED improvement plan which over the past two years has greatly improved the ability to observe the night sky, further enhancing the its Gold Tier status.

You can find out more about the conference at www.eudarkskiesconference.com.