[ASC-list] Shine Dome lighting: what's the fuss about?

Helen Sim Helen.Sim at csiro.au
Fri Oct 28 00:49:56 UTC 2011

Hi Kylie -

As I'm in not in Canberra, I haven't had a chance to see the lighting 
myself: I will certainly do so when I'm in town. But your media release 
hardly gave the impression that the lighting is "modest and subdued", 
and mainly for pedestrian safety.

Let me take this opportunity to point out what astronomers wish to 
preserve. Here's a lovely new timelapse sequence of the night sky over 
the Anglo-Australian Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory:

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/embed/6mRMj52V4DM

HD version (192 MB, MOV format): 



On 28/10/11 9:32 AM, Kylie Walker wrote:
> Dear Helen,
> Thanks for your email and your concern.
> The new lighting at the Dome is modest and subdued, comprising soft 
> coloured lights submerged in the moat itself and strip-lighting around 
> the outside of the moat.
> The lights are controlled via a PE cell and timer. The PE cell senses 
> when it is dark enough for the lights to automatically switch on and 
> the timer allows us to set it to switch off at a nominated time, 10pm.
> One of the main reasons for installing night lighting was for the 
> safety of passing pedestrians, as we are unable to erect barriers 
> around the moat of our heritage-listed building.
> Because of the increase in student lodging and apartment accommodation 
> nearby, there are now more pedestrians taking a short cut home during 
> the evening through Academy grounds. There is also evening tourist 
> traffic from film screenings and other events at the National Film and 
> Sound Archive and the Australian National University, and visitors 
> often cross the road before or after these events to take a closer 
> look at the Shine Dome. We are concerned that the unlit moat and 
> bridges could become a safety issue.
> I hope this addresses your concerns.
> Kind Regards,
> Kylie
> Description: cid:image001.jpg at 01CC2AB3.CAAF9940
> *Kylie Walker **Director, Communications and Outreach***
> *Australian Academy of Science <http://www.science.org.au/>** *Ian 
> Potter House, Gordon Street, Acton ACT 2601  |  GPO Box 783, Canberra 
> ACT 2601*
> M * 0405  229 152 *T* (02) 6201 9427 *F* (02) 6201 9494 *E 
> *kylie.walker at science.org.au <mailto:kylie.walker at science.org.au> 
> *www*.science.org.au <http://www.science.org.au/>
> *Disclaimer*: This message is intended for the addressee named and may 
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> If you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender and 
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> *From:* Helen Sim [mailto:Helen.Sim at csiro.au]
> *Sent:* Thursday, 27 October 2011 8:47 PM
> *To:* asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au; Kylie Walker; nrl at bigpond.com
> *Subject:* Re: [ASC-list] Shine Dome lights up tonight
> Hi Kylie -
> I agree with Nick. There's a certain irony here in that the lights of 
> Canberra now make it impossible to do significant astronomy from Mount 
> Stromlo, and the lights of Sydney aren't much good for Siding Spring 
> Observatory either. The Academy is rightly pleased to celebrate the 
> achievements of Nobel Laureate Brian Schmidt, yet at the same time is 
> going along with a culture of thoughtless lighting that is inimical to 
> (optical) astronomy.
> cheers,
> Helen
> On 27/10/11 3:56 PM, Nick Lomb wrote:
> Dear Ms Walker
> This seems an absurd and irresponsible action by the Australian 
> Academy of Science. The Academy should be setting an example in 
> reducing night time lighting instead of adding to it. Night time 
> lighting adds to light pollution of the night sky and so effects 
> astronomers, professional or amateur, as well as disturbing the 
> nocturnal behaviour of insects, birds and other animals. It wastes 
> energy and creates unnecessary greenhouse gases. Most important of 
> all, recent research strongly indicates that night time lighting has 
> deleterious health effects on human beings through the disruption of 
> the production of melatonin.
> I hope that the Academy will rethink this project, the funding for 
> which could have been much better spent.
> Regards
> Nick
> _________________
> Dr Nick Lomb
> Phone: 03 9570 8418
> Mobile: 0403 892 778
> Email: nrl at bigpond.com <mailto:nrl at bigpond.com>
> -- 
> ------
> Helen Sim
> Media Liaison and Public Relations
> CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science
> and
> Australian Astronomical Observatory
> T: +61 2 9372 4251
> M: +61 419 635 905

Helen Sim
Media Liaison and Public Relations

CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science
Australian Astronomical Observatory

T: +61 2 9372 4251
M: +61 419 635 905

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