STARRY NIGHTS: James Barclay wants photos like this one over Kingsley Grove to help secure a dark sky certification.
STARRY NIGHTS: James Barclay wants photos like this one over Kingsley Grove to help secure a dark sky certification. James Barclay

Why 'dark sky' status could boost South Burnett tourism

KINGAROY astronomer James Barclay is on a mission to survey the dark skies of the South Burnett.

Mr Barclay wants to help the region secure status as a "dark sky" site from the International Dark Sky Association, an organisation based in the United States.

"To get an IDA designation for a park, reserve or for a community, certain criteria must be met," he said.

"A typical dark sky site means it has no sky glow interference from street, commercial and residential lighting, so my chosen sites will be public parks, reserves, the two major fish dams, Boondooma Homestead and dozens of B&Bs and wineries."

Each spot Mr Barclay visits will have a data report compiled, which includes readings from a sky quality meter.

He will also take hundreds of photos of the South Burnett night skies using five DSLR cameras fitted with fisheye and wide-angle lenses.

 

Kingaroy astronomer James Barclay with some of the equipment he will use for the night sky survey.
Kingaroy astronomer James Barclay with some of the equipment he will use for the night sky survey. Contributed

All of the data will be used to assist in a dark sky application to the IDA.

Mr Barclay said he hoped the declaration would boost tourism.

"More and more Aussies and overseas visitors are longing to visit a safe, dark sky site, where they can happily view and photograph a starry sky, which are sadly disappearing worldwide, due to the increasing spread of light pollution," Mr Barclay said.

Dark Sky sites are issued as either gold, silver or bronze.

What is the IDA?

The International Dark-Sky Association was founded in 1988, and aims protecting the night skies from light pollution.

South Burnett


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