Pupils not keen to see the lights

Young light pollution researchers (from left) Ben Hawke (Taieri College), Alex Livingstone and Mackenzie Greer (Tahuna Intermediate), Sylvie Latton, Star Uriaro (Kavanagh College), Ethan Montaner (Balmacewen Intermediate) and Gabriel Vink (Kavanagh) under
Young light pollution researchers (from left) Ben Hawke (Taieri College), Alex Livingstone and Mackenzie Greer (Tahuna Intermediate), Sylvie Latton, Star Uriaro (Kavanagh College), Ethan Montaner (Balmacewen Intermediate) and Gabriel Vink (Kavanagh) under Dunedin's night sky. Absent: Billie Marks. Photo by Gregor Richardson.
Light pollution research by eight Dunedin school pupils is being put under the spotlight by members of the Dunedin Astronomical Society and the Dunedin City Council's Dark Skies Advisory Panel.

Alex Livingstone, Mackenzie Greer, Gabriel Vink, Sylvie Latton, Ben Hawke, Star Uriaro, Ethan Montaner and Billie Marks were recognised by the two organisations with awards at the Beverly-Begg Observatory last night.

In return, the pupils gave detailed talks on their research for their Aurora Otago Science & Technology Fair projects, including how they collected their data and what it showed.

Dunedin Astronomical Society member and Dark Skies Advisory Panel member Mirko Harnisch said the Dark Skies Advisory Panel was reviewing city projects that had a significant outside lighting component and investigate the deployment of alternative energy efficient lighting, which would improve Dunedin's view of the night sky.

''These young scientists have all looked at different aspects of light pollution and the night sky.

''We are hoping they will tell us about what they have done and what they have found. It is definitely information we can use.

''The quality of the data they have collected is so good that we can use it for further research. It's great to have that kind of synergy going on.''

john.lewis@odt.co.nz

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