Article in draft for IDA Congress
October 23, 24 and 25 2009
3rd National Dark Sky Congress

In 18th century, Charles Messier observed comets and celestial objects that he catalogued from the Cluny Hotel near Paris. Nowadays, our “cities of lights” look like flippers and only the most brilliant stars can be seen from their centre.

Yet, some solutions exist and are implemented in the world.

One Congress in France

The 3rd National Dark Sky Congress on “Night Environment protection” we organize will took place in the Midi Pyrenees Region and is labelled for the 2009 International Year of Astronomy.

Following the preceding congresses of Rodez in 1995 and 1998, this congress will be a place of pragmatic and constructive exchanges which will allow each one to get information, to share, and to supplement its experiments and work with people and specialists coming from various technical, scientific, professional horizons…

This 3rd national congress for the Protection of the Sky and the Night Environment is organized by Licorness, La Ferme des Etoiles, L’Association Nationale pour la Protection du Ciel et de l’Environnement Nocturnes (A.N.P.C.E.N) and the town of Fleurance.

This Congress will proceed in the TOWN of FLEURANCE 32500 GERS (France), near the Ferme des Etoiles. It will take place over three days, on October 23 24 and 25 2009.

The objectives of these congresses are:

  • Meet the experts, speakers and actors interested by the techniques of lighting, light pollution and its impacts in order to establish constructive and pragmatic technical exchanges on the French territory.
  • Establish the state of light pollution in France and an update on the progress of the projects, including actions carried out in particular on rural and urban land. This work will be put into perspective by information on actions in Europe and the world.
  • To review the development of the subjects treated in commissions (and to create new commissions if needed).
  • To inform about new European and international technical, legislative and legal developments.
  • To inform on research on impact of light on the biotopes and human health in France, Europe and in the world.
  • To review the progress of projects and field works, actions carried out in France, Europe and in the world.
  • Identify the stakes

Various commissions will be proposed:

  1. Users of sky and nighttime environment (astronomers, radio astronomers, professionals in aeronautics and astronautics, lighting designers, citizens, scientists on wildlife and biology…).
  2. Lighting technology, customs and standards.
  3. Land settlement.
  4. Impact of light pollution on environment.
  5. Protection and rehabilitation of our natural heritage.
  6. Public awareness and cultural aspects.
  7. Research and Development.
  8. Legal Commission.

What are the partners in this project ?

In addition to the organizers, this Congress is supported by various associations, Observatory and company and we thank the following: The Association Astronautique et Aéronautique de France 3AF (Midi Pyrénées Section)

  • The Observatory of Midi Pyrenees
  • The astronomical shop: La Clef des Etoiles
  • The International Dark Sky Association
  • The Société Astronomique de France
  • The Association Française d’Astronomie.
  • The Association PIc RÉserve de Nuits Etoilées (PIRENE)
  • The Association A Ciel Ouvert,
  • Astrosurf Magazine
  • Astronomie Magazine.


Interested people are pleased to download the application form on the website of the Ferme des Etoiles.

It will include: the full program of the conference, a request to participate with a deposit of intervention abstract and the list of accommodation.

For general information, in French.

For additional technical information (Conferences, updated schedule of speeches, news, and more) visit Licorness Internet website.

Inscriptions will be launched during May 2009. Deadline for sending abstracts will be at the end of September 1st and the final inscriptions will be closed on October 1st, 2009.

Contacts: or by telephone: 05 62 06 09 76