The night of the earth is drowning in light.
There are only three small spots in Finland that are completely free of artificial light. More than 70% of Finns do not see the Milky Way in their place of residence because it is covered by artificial light. Almost everyone else’s night sky has brightened by at least ten percent. Artificial light increases by three to six percent annually, which results in at least doubling the amount of light in 27 years.
The idea of a star park and a dark sky center arose through my star photography hobby and my own experiences. I noticed that Syrjävaara is located in a special place, outside the light pollution areas of large cities, on the top of the hill, with a direct light pollution-free view of the aurora oval. There is also no wasted light in the village area so the sky in the area is still quite clear.
As a child, I watched the lonely red light seen in the dark skyline. My grandfather said it was a warning light for the Vuonos mine tower. Today, everywhere on the horizon, except the north, reflects the lights of villages and cities. Until twenty years ago, as frost, the Milky Way sparkled in shades of red and blue. Now the colors are dimmed. The protection of the night and night sky is in a hurry!
How is the dark protected?
The night is destroyed by artificial light spreading in the wrong place and at the wrong time. Much of it comes from public lighting but private lighting comes as a good second. This is often due to poor design and thoughtless use of light. We illuminate our forests and the sky of the whole country unintentionally and completely in vain. Much of the light we use goes to waste.
We think it doesn’t matter, but yes it does and a lot: It destroys the nightlife and our connection to the universe. It also requires a great deal of energy and money. We best protect the night by making sure that the light is focused only where it is needed and when it is needed. It’s not even hard.
Man and nature need nights. That is the lifeblood.
How we act in Syrjävaara
Syrjävaara wants to preserve a natural night. It shares information and strives to enable night exploration and night enjoyment. The farm in Syrjävaara is a dark nature reserve. This means that the lights are used only as needed and with care:
- All lighting is limited to where it is needed.
- It does not illuminate the surrounding nature, the sky, or dazzle.
- Outdoor lighting is not used when no one is moving outdoors.
In Syrjävaara the clouds are not illuminated. The starry sky is visible between them.