B7 – Inter-Division B-C Commission Protection of Existing and Potential Observatory Sites


Reduction and prevention of artificial sky glow and radio-frequency interference is a priority goal of the IAU.  Commission B7 was established on the basis of its proposal to address these critical issues.

Our Vision:

  • To make tangible progress in stopping the encroachment of artificial sky glow and radio-frequency interference on major astronomical research facilities.
  • To raise public awareness to prevent the losses caused by light pollution for all observatories and for the fundamental right to starlight as in Resolution 2009-B5.
  • To work with relevant national and international authorities to set up legal policies and guidelines for the protection of astronomical quality of areas suitable for observational research and/or meriting astronomical world heritage status.

To set specific tactical goals and devise and carry out plans for implementation, the work of the Commission is divided among four Working Groups.

  • Technical Working Group covering spectral output, propagation, artificial sky glow and RFI, and regulatory issues.
  • Site Protection Working Group, to coordinate and facilitate efforts focused on professional observing sites.
  • Inter-commission Working Group on Achieving Sustainable Development within a Quality Lighting Framework, joint with Commission C1.  Primary focus is dark sky protection as part of sustainability in worldwide curricula.
  • Inter-commission World Heritage Working Group, joint with Commission C4.  Goal is to gain status for astronomical areas with cultural significance for the history of the field through the Windows on the Universe/High Mountain Observatories proposal to UNESCO.

All members of the IAU are invited to participate in this critical work.

Commission Web Page

Commission Members (62)

Under Division

Division B Facilities, Technologies and Data Science
Division C Education, Outreach and Heritage

Commission Working Groups

Inter-Division B-C Commission WG Site Protection
Inter-Division B-C Commission WG Technical Working Group
Inter-Commission B7-C1 WG Achieving Sustainable Development within a Quality Lighting Framework

Constance Elaine Walker

National Optical Astronomy Observatory
950 North Cherry Avenue
Tucson 85719
Arizona (AZ)
United States

Phone: +1 520-318-8535
Fax: +1 520-318-8451
Email: cwalkernoaoedu

NCA adherence: United States

Last updated:
September 20, 2019

James D. Lowenthal

Smith College
Clark Science Center
Northampton 01063
Massachusetts (MA)
United States

Phone: +1 413-585-6995
Email 1: jlowenthsmithedu
Email 2: jamesastsmithedu
Personal website: http://www.science.smith.edu/~jlowenth/
Organization website: http://www.smith.edu/astronomy/

NCA adherence: United States

Last updated:
March 21, 2018

Richard F. Green

University of Arizona
Steward Observatory
933 North Cherry Ave
Tucson AZ 85721-0065
Arizona (AZ)
United States

Phone: +1 520 626 7088
Email 1: rgreenemailarizonaedu
Email 2: rgreenlbtoorg
Organization website: https://www.as.arizona.edu/administration

NCA adherence: United States

Last updated:
September 20, 2019

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