Dark Sky Week – Why Fighting Light Pollution Matters

It’s easy to dismiss light pollution as something that just makes it “harder to see the stars”. But the impacts reach further and impact us in more meaningful ways. The issue branches out to touch the environment, human health, health and safety and more.

In this panel discussion we’ll delve deeper into the issue from the perspective of people who have to go to great lengths to overcome the damage caused by light pollution. We’ll hear from a renowned dark sky photographer, astronomers from MTU Blackrock Castle Observatory, and a deep sky astrophotographer.

Our panelists will show all the hidden ways in which light pollution impacts on their work and their passions, as well as considering what the future holds. This Dark Sky Week event will make for a fascinating panel discussion, but we want to hear from you too. Share you experiences or ask questions of our panelists and join the discussion.

This talk will broadcast live, here, on Friday April 9th at 7pm

Meet the panel:

Cian O’Regan
Cian is a PhD Student at MTU Blackrock Castle Observatory and an amateur astrophotographer. His images of the night sky have been featured by The New York Times, the BBC, and RTE News, and is a regular contributor to The Irish Examiner. Cian has been lucky enough to witness a total solar eclipse and the northern lights (3 days apart!), and many of his favourite shots are available to view at www.cianoregan.com
Dr Niall Smith
Niall is the Founder-Director of the internationally award-winning Blackrock Castle Observatory. In 2017, Niall was the host Director for the International Space University Space Studies Programme which is the largest conference programme ever to come to Cork, lasting a total of 9 weeks and involving over 320 global space experts. Niall’s research focuses on space topics including ultra high precision photometry and the uses of small satellites in low earth orbit for a wide range of functions from high resolution imaging to space cybersecurity to rural broadband. He was the Higher Education representative on the National Steering Group for the Irish Government’s recently published Space Strategy for Enterprise and considers Space 4.0 to be a significant opportunity for the Irish business community.
Danielle Wilcox
Danielle is a telescope operator, at MTU Blackrock Castle Observatory. She educates the public on astronomy through planetarium shows, guerrilla astronomy, videography, and other outreach methods. Her background in events management and operations has been invaluable in facilitating innovative growth of the outreach programs offered at BCO. She is a firm believer in disruptive science communication approaches that make science more accessible to everyone. She currently runs the ESERO Space Goes To School programme and is a core member of the team that runs Space Week Ireland.
Katie Hughes

Katie is a nightscape and astrophotographer living in Loch Lomond, Scotland. She started doing photography five years ago and became interested in photographing nightscapes and the Milky Way. As time went by, Katie became more interested in capturing Deep Sky Objects.

Her current set up for shooting the night sky is a William Optics SpaceCat51 on a Skywacther HEQ5 Mount with a modified Canon 450d.

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