Dark Sky Week in Duluth News Tribune!

Our esteemed president Ciindy Hakala contributed this to the Duluth News Tribune -- one more step to more night sky in our region!

Reader's View: Dark Sky Week shines light on light pollution

Posted on Apr 6, 2016 at 9:43 p.m.
I am writing to bring attention to International Dark Sky Week. Created in 2003 by high school student Jennifer Barlow, International Dark Sky Week has grown to become a worldwide event and a key component of Global Astronomy Month. Each year it is held in April around Earth Day and Astronomy Day. This year, celebrations run through Sunday.

Light pollution is a growing problem in the Twin Ports and around the world, but it doesn’t have to be. Light pollution happens when light is directed where it is not needed and not wanted. This can impair our ability to see safely, sleep soundly and see the stars. It also can impede the habits of birds and other wildlife.

The International Dark-Sky Association estimates that 30 percent of outdoor lighting is wasted annually in the United States alone. Luckily, there are many ways to reduce light pollution. By shielding lights and by using motion sensors and timers, we can light only what we need, when we need it. This saves money and energy — nationwide, as much as $3.3 billion and 21 million tons of carbon dioxide annually.

Whether you care about saving money, being healthy, sleeping well, wildlife, energy conservation or seeing the night sky in all its glory, the Dark Sky Movement has something for you.

Cindy Hakala


The writer is president of Dark Sky Duluth (darkskyduluth.org).


IDA Chapter Status + AAS Meeting

It has been an eventful few weeks here at Dark Sky Duluth -- we are now an official chapter of the International Dark-Sky Association!!!

And, as an added bonus, Eric Norland asked us to present at this month's meeting of the Arrowhead Astronomical Society. They meet at the University of Minnesota Duluth's Planetarium. Randy and Cynthia presented on dark sky issues and benefits, then Anita, Cindy, Randy and Cynthia discussed dark sky goals with the group.

What a great bunch of folks! We had a good time, talked about stars, and even ended the meeting with ice cream. And in the process, we nearly doubled our membership and t-shirt selling drive.

We are excited about the momentum for dark skies, and will be tapping our new members for planning, projects, and FUN!

Applying for IDA chapter status!

We had our first organizational meeting this week, and momentum is building! After putting out a low-buzz Dark Sky vibe for a number of years, four of us got together and are officially applying for official International Dark Sky Association chapter status!

Cynthia Lapp, Randy Larson, Anita Anderson and Cindy Hakala after the historic Organizational Meeting.

Dark Sky Duluth has been a very loose group of folks interested in seeing the stars in Duluth - better star visibility means less light pollution, lower lighting costs, energy savings, a boost for human health, and improving the habitat quality for all the other animals we share our environment with.

We have been busy spreading excitement about Dark Skies, the possibility of boosting our city tourism by becoming a Dark Sky destination, working with folks from the Arrowhead Astronomical Society, supporting Dark Sky lighting regulations for the City of Duluth, and getting folks excited about seeing the Milky Way from town, once again! With potential support from IDA, we could be seeing stars that much sooner!

Just after the meeting, Mary Treuer came by and became our first new member! Our group is already growing!

Jeniece and Paul just joined - way to go Dark Sky supporters!!!

Aquatic Light Pollution in Lake Superior

Not only does light pollution adversely affect land ecologies and species like ourselves, it also negatively effects the quality of aquatic habitat. 

GLEAM, or the Great Lakes Environmental Assessment and Mapping project produced this map, which I downloaded this week (December 18, 2012). It shows the amount of stress on the aquatic ecosystem due to light pollution - and it extends quite far up the shore.

Dark Sky Duluth

This week at our latest Meteek Workshop event we rolled out a vision for establishing Duluth as a “Dark Sky” city. We hosted a presentation by Tom Nelson and Eric Norland from the Arrowhead Astronomical Society about the Milky Way and light pollution, and talked about a vision for making Duluth a city where more stars are visible.

Here is an info sheet we generated


Besides the presentation, we had live DJ music from MAR (http://soundcloud.com/marmusics).

Here is the link to the Arrowhead Astronomical Soceity’s website:

New logo!

In preparation for our Meteek & Co. upcoming workshop, we generated this nifty logo! We are set on seeing the Milky Way from the city once again!