Category Archives: News

Irish recognition in International Dark Sky Awards

Professor Brian Espey has been awarded the 2020 Dr. Arthur Hoag and William T. Robinson Award.

This award is given to an individual who has been outstanding in educating governmental organizations, businesses, and the public about the merits of outdoor lighting control ordinances

Brian Espey is an Associate Professor of Astrophysics at Trinity College, Dublin. He is also the leading expert and consultant on light pollution in Ireland. He has written several papers on the growth of light pollution there. Also, Brian led the first survey of night-time light in Ireland. As a result, these survey results fed into studies of the prevalence and influence of light on the environment and its role in human sleep disruption. Additionally, Brian is a founding member of the Dark Sky Ireland Network. Through this network, he continues to provide guidelines to county councils, environmental agencies, NGOs, and dark sky preservation groups. He is instrumental in helping Dark Sky Place applicants through the IDA guidelines and has also performed critical work on lighting guidelines.

Professor Brian Espey has made true progress in changing national policy for lighting in Ireland and supporting the Dark Sky advocacy community. Briefly, he has been essential in garnering awareness of dark and quiet skies among industry, government groups, students, researchers, amateur astronomers, and the general public.

The Rising Star Award

This award honors students of any grade level who demonstrate an enthusiasm for and commitment to dark sky conservation or research into natural darkness and light pollution.

Sophie McQuillin and Roisin Grant (Ireland)

Photo of Sophie and Rosin

Sophie and Roisin competed in the BT Young Scientist Exhibition. For their study, the students have practiced the scientific method with the aim of demonstrating a correlation between air and light pollution. The Young Scientist event is for students in the 12-19 age group from 237 schools across the island of Ireland.

Sophie and Roisin won the top award in the junior section for their light pollution project entitled “An Investigation into the Photolytic Degradation of the Nitrate Radical (NO3) by Light Pollution in Cork City and County”. This was quite a complex undertaking with the requirement for professional chemical testing of the samples. Through their work, they have raised the profile of dark skies and light pollution within Ireland as their project work garnered media attention as well as from the 55,000 school students as well as members of the public who attended.