September 16, 2023

Dark Sky event returns

The Aireys Inlet and District Association (AIDA) will run its second dark sky event today (Saturday, September 16),

The event, held at the Aireys Inlet Community Hall from 7.30pm, will be headlined by an expert panel of environmental specialists.

AIDA committee member Frieda Wachsmann said the event is part of AIDA’s push to get Dark Sky Accreditation for Aireys Inlet.

“All three speakers at the event will talk about the aspects of dark sky,” Ms Wachsmann said.

“We’ll then have buses taking attendees out to the back of Aireys Inlet where the town is darkest, we will have telescopes set up thanks to the Ballarat Astronomical Society to see the stars, and perhaps Saturn.

“It’ll be an exciting opportunity for people who have not looked through a telescope in their lives, and there will also be a mist net enclosure to temporarily trap flying moths and other insects.”

The first speaker on Saturday night will be chair of the Carrickalinga Environment Group Dr Sheryn Pitman, who was instrumental in getting Dark Sky Accreditation for the small town of Carrickalinga, south of Adelaide.

The second speaker will be vice-president of the Astronomical Society of Geelong, Dr Keith McGrath.

Dr McGrath has a career spanning more than two decades in the field of astronomy and will discuss the impacts of light pollution on the night sky.

The third speaker, Peter Crowcroft, is an environmental educator representing the Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority.

“Our main objective with this dark sky event, similar to last year’s, is to raise awareness about light pollution and dark sky, and increasing the ways we can minimise our light and energy footprint in town,” Ms Wachsmann said.

“Aireys Inlet is the perfect place for Dark Sky Accreditation, it’s an hour and a half from Melbourne and a in the future, we hope to encourage slow tourism in the town, rather than the waddle of tourists who generally arrive in buses and stay for an hour or two.”

Ms Wachsmann said AIDA has received support from local Surf Coast Shire councillors for the town receiving Dark Sky Accreditation, namely Anglesea Ward councillors Cr Libby Stapleton and Cr Mike Bodsworth.

For more information, head to AIDA’s Facebook page.

Read Surf Coast Times story here.

Image credit: Aireys Inlet & District Association will host its second Dark Sky event this Saturday, with attendees to expect a beautiful night sky at the event’s conclusion. Photo: MICHAEL VAN BERKEL

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