The second consecutive Dark Skies Rangers contest kicks off to inspire and make awareness of the importance of the dark skies.

Our planet, seen from the International Space Station, looks like a Christmas tree. This light, visible from space, is called “light pollution” caused by street illumination that project the light to all directions, diminishing greatly the darkness of the night sky. Light Pollution is a global problem that we have to fight for. It contributes to a major waste of both energy and money, influence the climate change, affects living beings, prevents people from enjoying the beauty of the sky and disturb astronomical observations.

Megoliths and star trails in the Alqueva Dark Sky Reserve in Portugal. Credit: © Miguel Claro

Megoliths and star trails in the Alqueva Dark Sky Reserve in Portugal. Credit: © Miguel Claro

In order to promote the project Dark Skies Rangers, the Dark Sky Alqueva Reserve, a night sky tourism destination certified by the Starlight Initiative, and NUCLIO – Núcleo Interactivo de Astronomia (Galileo Teacher Training Program) are organizing the Dark Skies Rangers Contest for students and teachers with the following objectives:

  • To stimulate the interest for research related to light pollution;
  • To promote the production of projects related to light pollution;
  • Develop skills in the field of: eLearning, writing, photography, video and artistic expression;
  • Contribute to establish a community of informed citizens, that participate in the solution to issues like this and with critical thinking about science in our daily lives.

Winners of the each category will receive a week in the Alqueva Dark Sky Reserve (Portugal), a tablet and a smartphone. The contest is open to teachers and students between 6 to 18 from any country. Deadline is on 30 March 2014. More info at:




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