Usk Reservoir

Usk Reservoir

Star Gazing Site


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The car park area at Usk reservoir is a beautiful place to have a family picnic as well as an ideal place to enjoy outstanding dark skies. The large flat area allows set up of telescopes and the road access from Trecastle means it is easily accessible. This area enjoys a naked eye limiting magnitude of 6.4 and is protected from the light pollution of the South Wales valleys.

For millions of years, human beings have been able to contemplate a clear night sky and see things which inspired religious, scientific, poetic ideas... Until electrical lighting began to artificially brighten our nights just over a century ago, a sky brimming with stars, he said, "was something that our ancestors had for all of human history -- a night that sky inspired science, art, religion, philosophy."

The Dark-Sky association has certified a number of locations as dark-sky communities and parks, where natural conditions or local efforts greatly mitigate light pollution. Visiting such places, people might go home and wonder "why do we really need all this unnecessary light in our environment, and can we use light in more intelligent ways that we're doing right now?"

Dark-sky advocates say that pleading strictly through aesthetics is one thing, but that the case becomes stronger when they invoke environmental issues such as saving energy and costs in designing sensible outdoor lighting that reduces light pollution and energy waste.
The energy-efficiency argument augments the ones scientists also employ about the potentially damaging effects, still not fully understood, on animal and plant biology, from sleep disorders in humans to a reduction in nocturnal feeding habitats for birds.


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