(Victor Valley)–Can you remember when the night was dark? In this special program at the San Bernardino County Museum starting at 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 25, find out what’s happened to the night sky—and what it means for all of us. Visitors will watch the film, “The City Dark,” and enjoy a presentation by Dr. Tyler Nordgren, author of “Stars Above, Earth Below: A Guide to Astronomy in the National Parks.” The program is sponsored by the San Bernardino Valley Amateur Astronomers and the museum’s education division, and is included with paid museum admission.
THE CITY DARK is a feature documentary about light pollution and the disappearing night sky. It premiered in competition at the 2011 South by Southwest Film Festival, where it won the Jury Prize for Best Score/Music. It has also been honored with the Grand Jury Prize of the Environmental Film Fest at Yale. After moving to light-polluted New York City from rural Maine, filmmaker Ian Cheney asks: “Do we need the dark?” Exploring the threat of killer asteroids in Hawai’i, tracking hatching turtles along the Florida coast, and rescuing injured birds on Chicago streets, Cheney unravels the myriad implications of a globe glittering with lights—including increased breast cancer rates from exposure to light at night, and a generation of kids without a glimpse of the universe above. Featuring stunning astrophotography and a cast of eclectic scientists, philosophers, historians, and lighting designers, “The City Dark” is the definitive story of light pollution and the disappearing stars.
Dr. Tyler Nordgren is a Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Redlands. Over the last two decades he has seen the steady spread of urban lighting that blots out the view of distant stars. Since 2005, he has worked with the U.S. National Park Service to promote astronomy education in U.S. national parks. Dr. Nordgren has also developed a popular poster campaign to “See the Milky Way” that promotes the message that “Half the park is after dark.” In 2010 his book, “Stars Above, Earth Below: A Guide to Astronomy in the National Parks,” was published as a way to spread the message of the importance of protecting the night sky. Dr. Nordgren is on the Board of the International Dark Sky Association.
The San Bernardino County Museum is at the California Street exit from Interstate 10 in Redlands. The museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 9 am to 5pm. General admission is $8 (adult), $6 (military or senior), $5 (student), and $4 (child aged 5 to 12). Children under five and Museum Association members are admitted free. Parking is free. For more information, visit www.sbcountymuseum.org. The museum is accessible to persons with disabilities. If assistive listening devices or other auxiliary aids are needed in order to participate in museum exhibits or programs, requests should be made through Museum Visitor Services at least three business days prior to your visit. Visitor Services’ telephone number is 909-307-2669 ext. 229 or (TDD) 909-792-1462.