Are you an Astrophile?
THIS ARTICLE APPEARS IN THE RED ROCK NEWS
October 6, 2023
Are you a Uranophile, an Opacarophile, a Nephophile or perhaps an Astrophile?
You could possibly be one, two or all of these. However, if these words sound unfamiliar to you, it means that you are either a person who loves things that can be found in the sky (Uranophile), a person who loves sunsets (Opacarophile), a person who may be obsessed with clouds (Nephophile), or a lover of all things celestial (Astrophile).
If the latter appeals to you — a lover of all things celestial — you are most certainly an Astrophile, and as an observer of the night sky, Sedona is the perfect place for stargazing.
In 2014, Sedona was designated as the sixth International Dark Sky Community (IDA) in the U.S. and the eighth worldwide for its pristine night sky views. Additionally, the Village of Oak Creek received its certification in 2016 as the 14th IDA globally.
The IDA is the recognized authority on light pollution and stands by the principal idea: “Light what you need, when you need it.” They work with manufacturers, planners, legislators and citizens to provide energy-efficient options that direct the light where you want it to go, not uselessly up into the sky.
Keep Sedona Beautiful has been an environmental steward since 1972 and is working with the city of Sedona to inform residents on how to curb light pollution.
Craig Swanson, president of KSB, has been at the forefront of the dark sky movement in Sedona.
“In 2022, our 50th year of protecting and enhancing the scenic beauty and natural environment of Sedona and the Verde Valley, we’re initiating a project to assist businesses and individuals who want to replace their non-compliant lighting,” Craig noted. “If you’re interested in helping with this effort, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Residents can also play their part by evaluating their lighting and making any needed changes to their home or business. They have until January 1, 2028, to be in compliance with the city of Sedona’s lighting codes and assist in reducing light pollution. While that date seems far off, Swanson suggests that residents and businesses make that change as soon as possible and avoid rushing at the last minute.
KSB also offers these tips to follow:
— Outdoor landscape lighting should be shielded and pointed down, not up.
— Sconces and any lighting mounted on outside walls should also be shielded and pointed down.
— If you have security lights, consider adding motion sensors so those lights come on only when needed.
— Add times to your outdoor lighting so they turn off automatically when no longer needed to light the way for you or your visitors.
— Choose bulbs with a color temperature of no more than 3000 Kelvins.
Additionally, the Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau’s Secret 7 includes a Stargazing section, which indicates the best places to go to “cover yourself in a blanket of stars.”
Visit Aerie Trailhead, Baldwin Trailhead, Beaverhead Flat Scenic Overlook, Brins Mesa Trailhead, Centennial Trailhead, Fay Canyon Trail and Thunder Mountain Trailhead for the best view of the night sky.
For more information, go to SedonaSecret7.com.
Whether you are a night photographer, an astronomer, or an agreed-upon astrophile, stargazing in Sedona is a coveted activity at almost any time of the year to view the Milky Way, far away galaxies and planets. Plan your evening accordingly and enjoy the starry starry night skies.
Photo courtesy of Sedona Photographer, John Gafford.
–Michelle Conway, President/CEO
Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau