The First Webinar of the STARLIGHT Project

On 4th April 2023 the first webinar of the STARLIGHT project was held.

During the three-hour video conference, a team of international professionals discussed multiple topics related to light pollution, dark skies, and audience engagement.

Firstly, after Greti Manfreda (RDA)’s brief presentation of the agendas of the STARLIGHT webinars, Stefanie Suchy (TyEO) illustrated the importance of the nighttime from a scientific, philosophical, and cultural point of view, as well as the causes and effects of ALAN, i.e. artificial light at night.

Secondly, Sandra Jiménez (FCL) broadened the topic from a biological point of view. Indeed, she focused on the importance of the day-night cycle for different species and the effects of changes in the biorhythms of both animals and human beings due to artificial lighting.

Thirdly, Daniele Gardiol (INAF) showed, by means of the Stellarium software, how to plan a naked-eye observation of the night sky according to space and time constraints, the horizon, and the seasonality of constellations. Furthermore, he highlighted how the storytelling of myths and legends through stargazing can be the perfect medium to engage the audience.

Finally, Enrico Di Nola (INAF) provided a thorough analysis of the theory and practice of storytelling. By providing accurate definitions and examples across multiple media, such as literature, cinema and politics, he demonstrated the innate curiosity of human beings for stories. Moreover, he drew a clear distinction between telling a story and building an effective narrative in order to enable communication through narration.

The first STARLIGHT webinar ended with a group workshop activity and Carlos Fernández Martínez (FCL)’s presentation of the Picos de Europa National Park in Spain, where one of the three schools of the STARLIGHT project will be held.