If you’re lucky, you’ll see a shooting star dart across the night sky or Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites float past the firmament as if strung on a string of pearls. The prerequisite for this is that the eyes are not blinded by any street lights or neon signs. In Steyr, on the entire weekend from September 15th to 17th, right on the new moon, stargazers have the opportunity to see the stars sparkle again, which have otherwise been swallowed up by the light smog. After dusk, the city does not turn on the floodlights that illuminate the town hall, Bummerlhaus and parish church, which creates more darkness in the old town.
For the second time, the city is taking part in “Earth Night”, a global night of action against artificial light and for the return of darkness. Not only astronomers like Science Buster and blogger Florian Freistetter and the sky watchers from the observatory on the Hohe Dirn support the initiative, but also a number of environmental organizations. The excessive lighting in the dark half of the day also caused serious harm to insects and destroyed the ecological balance. “We are happy to take part in Earth Night to draw attention to the problem of increasing light pollution. But we are also doing something about this problem in the long term,” says Mayor Markus Vogl (SP). The city is currently in the process of not only converting the street lamps to LED light, but also replacing them with lamps that only shine downwards onto the streets and sidewalks. Vogl says that the municipality is also tackling the problem of insect deaths caused by the light cones.
It won’t be completely dark
The Steyr town hall couldn’t bring itself to completely darken the place, as some rural communities do, which don’t turn on street lights on Friday evenings. For safety reasons, street lighting in the city cannot be completely dispensed with. The municipality of Enns is making a compromise and will dim the light from the municipal lamps for one night.
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