13th European Symposium for the protection of the night sky

13th European Symposium for the Protection of the Night Sky to be held in the Planetarium of Pamplona, Spain, from 12th to 14th September, 2013.

Monitoring the Valencian sky. Polluted natural areas and dark places to be preserved

Enric Marco. Universitat de València, Cel Fosc
cerrar It is well known that Valencia is usually considered one of the more light polluted city in Europe. Astronomers are not the only one affected by its pollution. It has been well reported that excessive number of artificial light points and incorrect installation of luminaires exert strong influences on nocturnal wildlife. Three Valencian natural parks, located nearby to the Valencian metropolitan area, are strongly polluted due its unshielded public lighting system. The introduction of LED technology into the street lighting in many Valencian towns, supported and financed by Valencian public administrations, is the reason of the migration from the now widely used high-pressure sodium lamps to white lamps with a strong emission peak in the blue band. This action, promoted as an enhancement of the energy efficiency, is going to increase very quickly light pollution and even to exert greater pressure on natural ecosystems and human health. This work presents measurements of night sky background obtained in Valencian natural parks and some areas of interest. It also detects and characterizes pollutant hot spots and the first effects of the cold LED lighting systems. Although very polluted areas are found near Valencia and the main Valencian cities, it is worth noting that there are still some natural areas, such as the Natural Park Chera-Sot de Chera, and the regions of la Serranía, el Rincón de Ademuz and els Ports with excellent dark sky. These must be protected from future environmental assaults such as white LED lighting or flashing white light projectors for wind turbines.

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