The beauty of a naturally dark sky at night means more to us than we realize and we are in danger of losing that. 

The Rothney Astrophysical Observatory, located in Foothills County, is proud to be in Dark Sky Country, as it states on its website.  

But what is Dark Sky Country? Phil Langill, the director of the Observatory, describes it as an educational idea. 

“The idea of Dark Sky Country was an educational idea. If we can […] disseminate to the people who live in Foothills County the idea that it’s good to keep [the skies] dark for you so you can enjoy the dark skies at night.”

Enjoying the dark skies means gazing up at the stars above and maybe catching a shooting star or meteor shower. But preserving the dark skies does not just mean we risk losing that. 

Jennifer Howse, the education specialist at the Observatory, believes that we’re in danger of losing these privileges due to light pollution. 

“In the 24-hour society we live in, with people coming and going all the time, we’ve started to find a lot more comfort to have more and more light in our lives, and that’s a shame.”

We are surrounded by light nowadays. Streetlights, neon signs and the lights inside our homes are a part of daily life and we are taking that for granted. 

Reporters Santiago Trozzo and Dean Cordero travelled down to the Observatory for further information about the preservation of dark skies, and what else we could lose if we don’t start preserving them now.

“It’s good to keep [the skies] dark for you so you can enjoy the dark skies at night.” – Phil Langill, Director of the Rothney Astrophysical Observatory. Video by Dean Cordero and Santiago Trozzo

Editor: Georgia Longphee |

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