The tiny island of Sark in the Channel Isles have been awarded the world’s first “Dark Sky Island” status in recognition of it’s lack of light pollution.
It might seem as if night and dark skies have gone together since the dawn of time, but in reality modern light pollution from street lights, traffic and houses often give the sky a slightly orange tinge.
Star gazing: One of the main groups who often complain about light pollution are amateur astronomers, for whom this light pollution blocks out many of the more distant stars and galaxies.
Wider effects: As part of the campaign to receive this award, many people on Sark tweaked their outside lighting to ensure all the light reflected downwards. This resulted in less light being needed for a given area, thus less electricity and therefore lower electricity bills.
Tourism: The effects on tourism on Sark are yet to be seen, but this could give the island an edge over its neighbouring Channel Isles such as Jersey and Guernsey on the environmental front and of course for the astronomers. Perhaps more outlying areas will be looking at this as the newly emerging environmentally friendly holiday frontier.