Institutions and Technical Offices
Specialised in Night Sky Protection


Declarations - Conferences
Cultural Heritage
Environment protection
Light pollution
The right to the stars
Climate Change
Astronomy and clean skies

The need to protect astronomic observation quality has been the detonator for the creation in several parts of the world of technical offices, working groups and bodies aimed to night sky protection from light or radio-electric disturbance. Work developed by these initiatives was the base for the successive generalisation of night sky protection criteria to areas not necessarily close to observatories.

OTPC - Office for the Protection of the Quality of the Canarian Sky (Canary Islands).

The Office for the Protection of the Quality of the Canarian Sky (O.T.P.C.) was created in January 1992, under the auspices of the IAC to carry out the monitoring and evaluation of potential polluting activities that could affect the IAC Observatories.
Given the exceptional quality of the Canary Islandīs sky for astronomical observations and Spainīs International Agreements to guarentee the preservation of the IACīs research activity and, especially, to protect the astronomical quality of its observatories, the Spanish Goverment passed the Law 31/1988 on the Protection of the Astronomical Quality of the IACīs Observatories on October 31 1988, as well as the regulations of the corresponding Royal Decree 243/1992 on March 13 1992.

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OPCC - Office for the Protection of Northern Chile Sky Quality (Chile)
The OPCC was created through an agreement between the Chilean National Commission of Environment (CONAMA) and several astronomical research institutions: the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA, Inc), the Las Campanas Observatory (belonging to the Carnegie Institution of Washington, OCIW) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO). The aim of this office is to protect the night skies of the Antofagasta, Atacama and Coquimbo region, which are considered the best existing area in the Southern hemisphere for astronomical observation.
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The Light Pollution Science and Technology Institute (Italia)
ISTIL (Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologia dell'Inquinamento Luminoso) is a no-profit Italian organization with the aim of developing and promoting the scientific research on light pollution, and developing and spreading technologies and methods to limit light pollution and its adverse effects on the night environment.
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IAU Commission 50
Protection of Existing & Potential Observatory Sites

The international and environmental dimensions of lighting pollution led the International Astronomical Union to play an active role in the fight against this threat to astronomy. Commission 50 has created the Working Group on "Controlling Light Pollution" to intensify and further the Commission's efforts in this area through an international program to control light pollution - and to support and co-ordinate efforts with other related organizations around the world.
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International Commission on Illumination (CIE)
Division 5: Exterior Lighting and Other Applications. Terms of Reference: To study procedures and prepare guides for the design of lighting for exterior working areas, security lighting, flood lighting, pedestrian and other urban areas without motorized traffic, areas for sports and recreation, and for mine lighting.
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IAU Commission 21

IAU Commission 21 consists of some hundred members with professional interest in the light of the night sky. The diffuse components of the light of the night sky encompass a variety of physical phenomena over the full range of cosmic distance scales. From the Earth outward they include airglow in the Earth's atmosphere, scattering and thermal emission from the interplanetary dust cloud (zodiacal light), emission from the interstellar medium, integrated starlight, diffuse galactic light, diffuse emission in other galaxies and extragalactic background radiation. The purpose of Commission 21 is to facilitate research in these areas among the worldwide astronomical community.
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Light Pollution and the Palomar Observatory
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Starlight Initiative - Contact >