New Zealand Starlight Conference

Towards a Dark Sky Nation
20-23 October 2024, Tekapo, New Zealand

2024 Conference Resources

Coming Soon

Conference Report

Conference Programme

Conference Abstracts

Day One

Starlight Conference 2019
Opening Ceremony

Powhiri (Official Māori welcome), Kapa haka performance. Thanks to Te Wera King and Te Rūnanga o Arowhenua.

Session 1
Dark sky places and the global scene

Chairperson: John Hearnshaw

Celebrating the Night: From the flash of a firefly to the star studded sky

Ruskin Hartley, Executive Director, International Dark Sky Assn, Tucson Arizona, USA

International Dark Sky Places & New Zealand
Status Report

Adam , International Dark Sky Places Program Manager, IDA, Tucson Arizona, USA

The Canadian Dark-Sky Preserve Program: Royal Astronomical Society of Canada

Robert Dick, CEO, Canadian Lighting Company, Ontario, Canada

Protecting the Night Sky of Northern Chile: A Proposal to Restrict Spectral Emissions in the Era of LED

Pedro Sanhueza, Office for the Protection of the Night Sky of Northern Chile (OPCC) (with Guillermo Damke, Universidad de La Serena/AURA Inc. Chile, Rodolfo Angeloni, Universidad de La Serena, Chile, Miguel Martínez, OPCC, Chile Hugo Rojas, OPCC, Chile)

Session 2: Dark sky places and the global scene
Dark sky places in New Zealand

Chairperson: Nalayini Davies

The Starlight Foundation: 12 years of commitment with the Starlight Declaration

Antonia Varela Perez, Director of the Starlight Foundation, Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands, Tenerife,Spain

Dark skies in the Mackenzie – the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve

John Hearnshaw, Chair, Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve Board/ University of Canterbury, NZ

Protecting Beyond the Back of Beyond - The Great Barrier Island International Dark Sky Sanctuary

Richard Somerville-Ryan, Great Barrier Island – Aotea, Auckland

Dark South – The Stewart Island/ Rakiura International Dark Sky Sanctuary Journey

Amie Young, Tourism Product Development Advisor, Great South

Dark Sky Places of the World: The evolution of the dark sky place idea, and where it’s at today

David Welch (presented by Robert Dick), Chair of the IUCN Dark Skies Advisory Group, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Session 3: Best lighting practices for dark sky places - Astro-tourism

Chairperson: Steve Butler

Preserving the dark night sky at observatories in the era of LED lighting

Richard Wainscoat, Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, USA

The Dark Sky: Light Pollution and how to reduce it

Mike Geddis, EnergyLight, Christchurch

Responsible lighting choices and the undeniable data

Lara and David Mitchell, Lumican, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Dark Skies, a movement around the globe

Marnie Ogg, Australasian Dark Sky Alliance – Sydney, Australia

Experiencing the Night Sky: Astro-Tourism, Travel Trends and the Visitor Economy

Megan Miller, Mackenzie Region Trade & Media Marketing Executive, Christchurch NZ and Jason Menard, Mackenzie Region Digital Marketing Executive, Christchurch NZ

Session 4: Dark sky places and World Heritage
Dark sky protection in other countries

Chairperson: Bruce Mincham

Astronomical World Heritage and dark skies—an update

Clive Ruggles, University of Leicester, UK

Space Weather Animates the Natural Night Sky

Al and Patricia (Annie) Grauer (with Nalayini and Gareth Davies, Auckland NZ), Cosmic Campground, New Mexico, USA

Star Watching Campaign: Outreach Effort for Light Pollution by the Japanese Government

Junichi Watanabe, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, Mitaka, Tokyo, Japan

Keeping it Dark in the Country, a Success Story of Astronomical Proportions

Phil Langill, Rothney Astrophysical Observatory, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada (with Suzanne Oel (Foothills County), Greg Shyba (ASCCA) & Roland Dechesne (RASC)

Dark Skies of Wales

Charlotte Harley, Elan Valley Trust, Powys, Wales

Day Two

Session 5: Light pollution as a global environmental issue

Chairperson: Kaye Paardekooper

Starlight Conference Dinner speaker: Graeme Murray, co-founder of Earth & Sky - the forerunner of the Dark Sky Project
Light pollution: the good, the bad and the ugly (pre-recorded talk

Fabio Falchi, Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologia dell’Inquinamento Luminoso (Light Pollution Science and Technology Institute), Thiene, Italy

The importance of visual observations of skyglow by amateurs (pre-recorded talk)

Chris Kyba, GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam, Germany

Sutherland Central Astronomy Advantage Area (SCAAA) Protection Regulations: Preserving Dark Skies at SAAO

Ramotholo Sefako,  South African Astronomical Observatory, Cape Town, South Africa

Notice of the Minister's decision on protection measures to be applied within SCAAA
Mitigating obtrusive light on the night sky in regional areas

Mike Chapman, Sydney Outdoor Lighting Improvement Society (SOLIS), Sydney, Australia

Earth’s artificial rings

Duncan Steel, Xerra Earth Observation Institute, Alexandra, Central Otago, NZ

Session 6: Blue light and its impact on human health and the environment

Chairperson: Alan Gilmore

The importance of the circadian clock and artificial lighting at the correct time for human metabolic health

Alexander Tups, Department of Physiology, Centre of Neuroendocrinology and Brain
Health Research Centre, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

The importance of access to the night sky and the value of darkness and sleep

Kyra Xavia,  Dunedin

Session 7: Astrophotography and the beauty of the night sky. Astronomy at Mt John Observatory and Canterbury University. Dark sky protection in China

Chairperson: John Hearnshaw

Astrometric observations of Near-Earth Objects from Mt John Observatory

Alan Gilmore and Pam Kilmartin, Mt John Observatory, University of Canterbury

Astrophysics Research at the University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory

Karen Pollard, School of Physical and Chemical Sciences, University of Canterbury.
Director Mt John Observatory, Lake Tekapo

The Exploration of the Way of Sky Protection

Lei Ping, China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Fund (CBCGDF),
Shenzen, Guangdong Province, China

Protecting the Dark Sky, Building a Beautiful China

Liu Hao, Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Fund (CBCGDF),
Shangrao City, Jiangxi Province, China

Session 8: Artificial light at night and its impact on the environment

Chairperson: Steve Butler

Development of National Light Pollution Guidelines for Wildlife in Australia

Karen Arthur, Department of the Environment and Energy, Australian Government, Canberra, ACT, Australia

Starcrossed: Preserving Night Skies in U.S. National Parks

Karen Trevino, US National Park Service, Denver, CO, USA

Sounds and lights in the environment

Jeff Dalley, Department of Conservation, Christchurch, New Zealand

Day Three

Session 9: The End of Night, Dark sky protection in Indonesia

Chairperson: Margaret Austin

Is it the End of Night?

Paul Bogard, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia, USA

Developing Dark Sky Protection Strategy in Indonesia (co-authors: R. Breton, D.Y. Yuna & O. Katz)

Premana Premadi, Bosscha Observatory, Institut Teknologi Bandung, Bandung, Indonesia

Why East Nusa Tenggara should be an amazing destination for astro-tourism (co-author: P.W. Premadi)

Dwi Yoshafetri Yuna, Bosscha Observatory, Institut Teknologi Bandung, Bandung, Indonesia

Session 10: New Zealand Aspiring Dark Sky Places – Towards a Dark Sky Nation

Chairperson: Nalayini Davies

Spatiotemporal Analysis of Light Pollution Distribution Patterns around observatories in Indonesia (co-authors: D. Herdiwijaya and P.W. Premadi)

Hendra Agus Prastyo, Bosscha Observatory, Institut Teknologi Bandung, Bandung, Indonesia

Protecting Ecology and Saving Our Stars via a Constellation of Small Amber-lit Coastal Communities

Kyra Xavia, Dunedin

Using darkness to enlighten

Damien McNamara, North Otago Astronomical Society, Oamaru, NZ

In the dark at the top - Happening in the top of the South

Ralph Bradley, Wai-iti Nelson

The long and winding trail

Jill Wolff, Naseby Vision, Naseby, Central Otago, NZ

Stargazing on the Coromandel peninsula

Alistair Brickell, Stargazers B&B and Astronomy Tours, Whitianga, Coromandel, NZ

He kanohi ki te kanohi/ Face to face

Ken Ross, Far North District Council, Kaikohe, NZ

Good Night Waiheke or Good Bye to the Night Waiheke?"

Kim Wesney, Waiheke Island

Letting stars reflect in Te Waihora and the moon light up Te Tiritiri-o-te-moana (Southern Alps)

Clare Quirke, Selwyn District Council, Canterbury, NZ

The Wainuiomata-Orongorongo Dark-sky Project

Ricky Clarkson, Greater Wellington Regional Council, Wainuiomata-Orongorongo Dark-Sky Project

Session 11: Towards a dark sky nation

Chairperson: Margaret Austin

Towards a Dark Sky Nation – the vision, the challenges and opportunities

Panel: Ruskin Hartley, Nalayini Davies, Andy Roberts (DOC), Clive Ruggles Facilitator: Margaret Austin