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Two-day Conference


«Dark Skies Preservation »
for Sustainability,
Astronomical Observations, Health, Ecosystems and Culture


| May, 16-17 2022 |

Λογότυπο IAU Λογότυπο Φιλεκπαιδευτικής Εταιρείας Λογότυπο Office for Astronomy Outreach Λογότυπο Εθνικής Αστρονομικής Επιτροπής Λογότυπο ΙΑΑΔΕΤ Λογότυπο Διεύθυνσης Β'-θμιας Εκπαίδευσης Β' Αθήνας


«Climate Change»

Christos Zerefos
General Secretary of the Academy of Athens
National Representative for the Climate Change

Global climate change is defined by a delicate balance between the atmosphere, the geosphere, the hydrosphere, the biosphere and the cryosphere. Changes in the environment have been known since antiquity, have been recognized in classical Greece and have been and continue to be a field of research that includes the past, present and future of our planet. A brief review of the basic knowledge required to determine balance and dynamic evolution in the various sectors of the environment will be attempted, with an emphasis on important events in which environmental changes have determined the course of the history of societies on the planet.

«Light Pollution and Astronomical Observations»

Evanthia Hatziminaoglou
Deputy Director of Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA)
European Southern Observatory, Germany

For thousands of years, people from every part of the world have been studying the stars, trying to understand our place in the Universe. As the world’s oldest science, astronomy has captivated the minds of thousands of generations. Today, however, an increasing majority of people can no longer see the beauty of the night sky from their homes and the sight of the Milky Way stretching across the night sky is for many of us just a childhood memory. Sadly, a generation is growing up having never seen our own galaxy. Light from the rest of the Universe can take millions of years to reach our eyes only to be lost in the last millisecond of its journey due to light pollution. Astronomers define light pollution as “artificial light that shines where it is neither wanted, nor needed”. Light from poorly designed, incorrectly directed light fixtures shines into the sky. There, it is scattered by air molecules, moisture and aerosols in the atmosphere causing the night sky to glow. Light pollution and other electromagnetic interference affect the observations of amateur and professionals astronomers alike. In my talk, I will showcase the impact of light pollution on astronomical observations, in the hope that, increased awareness can contribute to timely and targeted decision making, that itself has the potential to reverse the trend and restore accessibility to the wonders of the heavens.

«The effect of light quality on humans »

Ioannis Ladopoulos
Hellenic Open University

The presentation deals with how lighting and in particular artificial lighting affects Humans and their Circadian Rhythm. Although Richard Kelly's basic Lighting Principles from the 1950s remain relevant, we now know much more about how lighting affects the human body and how this must be taken into consideration for Lighting Quality, the Holy Grail of Lighting Designers everywhere, to be achieved in the best possible way.

The theoretical background is analyzed, research data, new standards, and practices as well as indicative case studies are presented.

«Sea turtles: Light on the road to survival»

Kostas Thomopoulos
Responsible for Environmental Education and, Volunteering
MEDASSET | Mediterranean Association to Save the Sea Turtles

For sea turtles light is not simple, it is a matter of survival because it plays a very important role from the first minutes of their life. Light pollution of the wider area and especially of the nesting beaches is a cause of disorientation and often leads to fatal results.

«Light Pollution and birds»

Danae Portolou

Seabirds are a specialized group of birds that depend both on land and the marine space, thus as a result they face multiple and cumulative threats. During the breeding period, pelagic seabirds are mainly active at night, an adaptation associated with predator avoidance. Light pollution has been recorded as a significant threat, which can affect the frequency of adult colony attendance and the fledgling process of chicks. Existing and future sources of light pollution in Greece are discussed.

«Intelligent outdoor lighting networks to reduce light pollution»

Fragkiskos Topalis
Professor NTUA, Lighting Laboratory

In the recent years, a considerable development of smart outdoor lighting networks is observed with IoT applications. The application of those technologies is enabled using LED luminaires. The application of those technologies would not be feasible in the existing outdoor lighting networks that use conventional lamps (sodium, metal halide, fluorescent) while the cost would be higher. In smart outdoor lighting networks the lighting level is adjusted depending on the time of the day and the traffic conditions as well as the detection of human presence or movement. Therefore, lighting is reduced during specific hours or under conditions in which is not required and, respectively, obtrusive light and light pollution are reduced. Those technological developments have affected the design of efficient optical accessories/equipment (lenses, diffusers) which direct the produced light only to the illuminated areas resulting in minimized obtrusive light and light pollution.

«International Cooperation for the Reduction of Light Pollution and the Standardization of its Measurement through the United Nations and the International Commission on Illumination»

Constantinos Bouroussis
Research Associate
Lighting Laboratory, ICCS-NTUA, Athens, Greece

Light pollution from outdoor lighting installations can be mainly found as sky glow, glare from light sources, spill lighting from installations, obtrusive lighting from illuminated signs, intrusive light that enters aquatic environments and indoor spaces and more. This complex problem has been investigated for many years by various scientific fields, mainly by astronomers, environmentalists and biologists, with each group looking for solutions in their field of expertise. At the same time, as each scientific team interprets light pollution from its own point of view, it tries to quantify and monitor it, often using different methods and measuring instruments. The same phenomenon is found in the proposed actions to reduce the effects of light pollution with each group having a different approach. This pluralism has led to the need to coordinate actions by stakeholders. In this context, the International Commission on Illumination (CIE) has taken the initiative to set up specialized technical committees, with the participation of all scientific bodies involved, to investigate the effects of light pollution, to establish quantitative and qualitative limits and to standardize measurement methods. On the other hand, the United Nations (UN) in cooperation with the International Astronomical Union (IAU) set up an international scientific committee which, through two conferences and several meetings, proposed a joint text for a vote on the required technical actions and legal framework to combat the problem. This presentation will provide a comprehensive report on the actions of the CIE and UN / IAU Scientific Committees as well as the results so far.

«The Science of Solar Eclipses, as an excellent outreach project»

Jay Pasachoff
Williams College, USA

The speaker, Chair of the International Astronomical Astronomical Union’s Working Group on Solar Eclipses, and a veteran of 75 solar eclipses (and a transit of Venus from Greece), will describe the glory of observing a spectacular astronomical event during the daytime.  He will discuss the difference between total and partial eclipses, and the observability of solar eclipses on 25 October 2022 and in 2025, 2026, and 2027 from Greece.  He will link ground-based eclipse observations with studies of the Sun from space.

«The telescopes operating under the National Observatory of Athens and the effects of light pollution»

Manolis Xilouris
Research Director IAASARS/NOA
Operations Manager of Helmos and Kryoneri Observatories<

The Helmos and Kryoneri observatories, operating under the National Observatory of Athens (NOA), host two large telescopes (with mirror diameters of 2,3 and 1.2 meters, respectively) and are used to perform scientific observations. Furthermore, two more telescopes, Doridis and Newall telescopes (at Thisio and Penteli, respectively) operated under NOA, are used for public outreach activities. The aforementioned telescopes are situated in places of different levels of sky brightness. In my presentation I will, briefly, discuss the activities that are taking place using NOA’s telescopes and the effects of light pollution on the observations.

«The endangered view of the observed amazing Universe»

Κanaris Tsinganos
Emeritus Proffessor of Astrophysics
University of Athens

Our night sky is adorned with planets, nebulae, stars, constellations and galaxies. All these celestial objects have been there, fixed, for billions of years. We assume that they were ecstatically admired by the first thinking inhabitants of our planet, tens of thousands of years ago. Homer named the same constellations that we observe today. Through the same constellations, which are essentially the Greek mythology illustrated, the International Astronomical Union defined the 88 regions that cover the entire celestial sphere.

Many engaged in science inspired by the magnificent view of the starry sky. And, science and its subsidiary technology, have provided the advanced devices we use today: from cell phones, GPS and satellite remote sensing to our planet, to X-rays and hypersensitive medical cameras and devices.

And yet, this view of the starry sky tends to disappear today. Humans "waste" lighting recklessly, thus destroying what has been the inspiration of our species for thousands of centuries.

In this short talk, we will discuss through images the amazing grandeur of the observed Universe which, although it corresponds to only 5% of the total matter of the Universe, leaves us dazzled and leaves us wondering for how much longer we will be able to observe it..

«Astronomy and Culture»

Rosa M. Ros, Beatriz García
Polytechnical University of Catalonia
Barcelona, Spain, Network for Astronomy School Education
NASE members

Astronomy is part of our live. We use astronomy to move from a city to another one when we use some kind of orientation with the stars or the Sun as references for our way. Also, we use astronomy when we plant some vegetable and we are interested to obtain the best results and productions. Of course, we use astronomy when we construct our houses oriented to the south in or der to get the best light for our rooms and to reduce expenses for heater systems. And a special mention should be necessary for buildings oriented by religious reasons because form the begins of the humanity the celestial bodies are considered special in the live of people and the religious temple are mainly oriented.

During this presentation, an approach astronomical will be offered for several building in different sites in the world.

«Evidence-based and effective communication  strategies to promote dark skies protection»

Beatriz Garcia, Rosa Ros
Instituto de Tecnologias en Detección y Astropartícula
CNEA-CONICETUNSAM, Mendoza, Argentina)

We live in a time in which day by day the possibility of profound modifications in the individual behavior of human beings is consolidated, which ensures sustainability in actions and from which citizens can achieve changes in public policies. One of these actions that lead to change is the one aimed at controlling light pollution (LP), which produced several Citizen Science projects.

Citizen science encompasses, at its core, a partnership between professional scientists and amateur volunteers in scientific research, and in this sense LP has been a great opportunity for very successful programs around the world, promoting hands-on activities and a full set of possible resources to understand the problem and produce changes.


In the International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development (, we want to show in this presentation the cross-cutting nature of the issue that involves the inappropriate use of lighting, based on evidence and effective communication strategies to promote dark skies protection.

Measuring light pollution while observing night sky using mobile telephone (Alexandroupolis area)»

Dimitrios Prassopoulos
B.E. Evros, Member of the Council of the Amateur Astronomers of Thrace

The presentation contains a workshop about light pollution. The observer uses a mobile phone application (Mobile Observatory) containing a great variety of information concerning stars and constellations. Reports data in an excel file such as name of the region and observation conditions, as well as rise/set Sun Moon, lunar luminosity, name of stars, visible mag and other information. The observer finds the star with the lowest visible mag. With this procedure one can estimate light pollution of the area. After having estimated light pollution from different areas, both rural and urban, the visible mags of stars are recorded in a map using Google Earth.

The workshop has the following advantages :
a) easy accessibility through an observatory program which is handy for the observer
b) learning about stars, constellations, stars orbits, rise/set of sun and moon
c) finding out a better way/place of observation in light pollution conditions
d) in case of implementation of multiple observers inhabitants in winded area, a bigger scale map can be designed.

«Which light will you follow?»

Κostas Thomopoulos
Responsible for Environmental Education and,Volunteering
MEDASSET | Mediterranean Association to Save the Sea Turtles

Educational workshop based on the technique of case study and role play. Participating students and teachers are invited to imaginatively travel to a nesting beach, analyze the information and make the right decision.

«The Space under the microscope: meteorites under to optical and electron microscope»

Elias Chatzitheodoridis
Professor in Mineralogy and Petrology

Our knowledge on space materials is acquired only after their detailed study in the microscope! It is the study of the mineral phases of space stones, to all known as “meteorites”, that gives the precise information for the origin, the formation conditions, and the evolution of a solar body, starting from the whole planet down to the microscale of a micrometeorite.Inside these mineral phases is where any possible extraterrestrial life is hiding, either as a fossil, or as a chemical or morphological imprint.

We will show you live under a real optical petrographic microscope how a Martian meteorite looks like. We will also show you how the same meteorite looks like under the electron microscope, and we will briefly describe some of the information that we can acquire.