County park authority to celebrate dark skies with educational event

Fairfax County set to celebrate the importance of protecting the night sky (Photo via Mindaugas Vitkus/Unsplash).

The Fairfax County Park Authority will celebrate the importance of protecting the night sky on Saturday, Nov. 12.

The free event, which takes place in McLean at Lewinsville Park from 6:30-8:30 pm, will feature live demonstrations, hands-on activities, and opportunities for the public to learn how to fight light pollution.

Tammy Schwab, project manager, tells FFXnow that there will be stations for people to learn about artificial light’s effect on plants, animals, and people. If the weather permits, there will be telescopes and binoculars to view constellations.

“We will also have information about the small actions folks can take to help reverse light pollution in their neighborhood.”

Schwab said it’s essential to educate the public on light pollution because it causes harm to animals and plants that are adapted to dark nights.

“This artificial light at night, especially those with high color temperatures like bright white and blue, have been shown to cause harm in humans as well by interrupting our circadian rhythms. Additionally, light pollution is a waste of energy,” Schwab said, adding that unlike other forms of pollution, humans can easily reverse light pollution with a switch.

The park authority is partnering with the McLean Citizens Association, the Analemma Society, and Dark Sky Friends. Registration is encouraged but not required.

Photo via Mindaugas Vitkus/Unsplash

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