on light pollution measurement and data analysis

10. – 11. 6. 2022

The Vihorlat Observatory in Humenné, as the leading partner of the Carpathian Starway project, organized an expert seminar kolofota, which took place as the first of the four planned seminars within this cross-border project of the ENI HUSKROUA programme.

In line with the focus of the project, the main theme was Light pollution, its measurement, processing and analysis of data. Due to the fact that the Ukrainian partners were not able to participate in the attendance, an online transmission was broadcasted on a platform provided by The University of P. J. Safarik in Košice.

In the professional part of the seminar there were contributions informing about the project Carpathian Observatory runway and its state of implementation in individual beneficiaries (contributions P. Dubovský, V. Periga and I. Gyarmathy). The most vivid debate unfolded after talks of T. Slovinsky and Z. Kalláth. A well-known Slovak astrophotographer dealt with the impact of light pollution on astrophotography. He also presented images of the night sky, modified to simulate an image that sees an unarmed human eye. That’s probably the way we should present places with quality skies in front of the public. So that they don’t come up with unfulfilled expectations.

Z. Kalláth is a professor at the Catholic University of Eger and the University of Eötvös Loránd in Szombathely. It has long dealt with the issue of light pollution and measurement of the brightness of the night sky. The main idea behind his contribution was a fundamental change in the strategy of ground measurements. Traditional measurements using broadband SQM meters cannot provide information on the origin of light coming from the sky (airglow, milky way, artificial light, reflection from clouds…). Moreover, these measurements provide values to a small extent, which is not very convincing if we want to achieve a change in the action of local authorities. In his works (DOI: 10.1016/j.jqsrt.2020.107162), Prof. Kalláth proposes spectroscopic measurements in the optical area, using so-called “dark sky unit” as a unit of flow, which can be expressed in SI units as nW/m2/sr/nm. On the basis of such spectra, widescreen digital cameras can then be calibrated and measured with them in different locations.

Information on activities related to the solution of the problem of light pollution in Poland was provided by R. Bury and S. Kołomański.

The seminar also had its accompanying programme. Participants were able to see several new films with the theme of light pollution from Hungarian and Polish productions. In the lobby of the planetarium, they were able to view a new exposition of astrophotography of Slovak and Czech authors.

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