Dark skies and dark screens as a precondition for astronomy tourism and general well-being

Abstract

Light pollution is one of the fastest-growing pollutants of the environment and considering the amount and diversity of negative consequences, it is a highly interdisciplinary subject. So far, most of the research about the negative influence of light pollution on human health was based on the disruption of the circadian clock, sleep deprivation, and other physical diseases. Together with artificial lighting, the rapid development of information and communication technology significantly contributed to the increased lighting levels in the indoor environment and at the same time influenced the perception of natural darkness as something unnatural and undesired. On the other hand, the same technologies can be a useful asset in the popularization of astronomy-related activities, thus promoting the necessity for dark skies preservation. This paper aims to emphasize the importance of dark skies and appropriate usage of ICTs in the nighttime hours for our psychological health and well-being in general and at the same time to propose astronomy tourism as a part of the sustainable tourism offer as a tool for fighting light pollution.

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source: International Dark-Sky Association; Map source: www.darksky.org)

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Bjelajac, D., Đerčan, B. & Kovačić, S. Dark skies and dark screens as a precondition for astronomy tourism and general well-being. Inf Technol Tourism (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40558-020-00189-9

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Keywords

  • Astronomy tourism
  • ICTs
  • Light pollution
  • Dark skies
  • Well-being
  • Mindfulness