The international project and accelerator Dark Skies Rangers (DSR) aims to create a network of OSOS schools that will combat the problem of light pollution, by raising awareness among the educational community and local authorities to change lighting systems and preserve the night sky.
Our planet, when seen from above during night time, exhibits a large number of lit areas. For example, we can easily identify the areas of greater population density in Iberian Peninsula when it is seen from the International Space Station during night time (Figure 1). Those light patches also identify areas of great light pollution.
Light pollution is caused by outdoor lighting that light up upwards and/or sideways (Figure 2), making the night sky brighter, wasting energy and money, contributing to climate change, affecting wildlife, ecosystems and people’s quality of life, and preventing astronomical observations.
This accelerator focus on the problematic of light pollution, fighting bad quality outdoor lighting and wasting of energy, decreasing public costs with lighting, while at the same time promoting an increase on the quality of life both for humans and the wildlife, increasing the security on the local communities and give the night sky back to the populations. These goals will allow to increase the attention to science by both students and local community, to stimulate teachers to adopt innovative teaching practices, based on Inquiry, which have been proven to be highly effective in science education, to generate and increase civic awareness, and to stimulate a proactive and responsible participation in the decisions of the community. DSR will, therefore, promote the enrichment and renewal of the science curriculum and other subjects, such as civic classes and philosophy.