FEDERATION OF ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETIES
BAS is proud to have been one of the founders of FAS. Formed in 1974, the Federation of Astronomical Societies was conceived as a sort of union of astronomical societies, groups, and individuals, liasing together, where practicable, for their mutual benefit.
The FAS is becoming a useful resource centre for data appertaining to education in astronomy as well as for the guidance of astronomical societies with any functional problems. Thus it is quite different from other astronomical organisations in the country. Today there are approximately 190 astronomical societies in the FAS.
THE BRITISH ASTRONOMICAL ASSOCIATION
The British Astronomical Association (BAA) is the senior national association of amateur astronomers in the UK. It encourages observational astronomy by non-professionals in areas which cannot be covered by professional observatories.
• The encouragement of all aspects of observational astronomy and the association of observers at all levels for mutual help.
• The promotion of a general interest in astronomy for beginners as well as for the more advanced.
• The circulation of current astronomical information and observational material.
• The support of modern advanced techniques for observation, data handling and scientific presentation of results.
• The presentation of medals and prizes in recognition of outstanding contributions to astronomy.
CAMPAIGN FOR DARK SKIES
BAS supports the British Astronomical Association's Campaign for Dark Skies (CfDS).
The CfDS aims to preserve and restore the beauty of the night sky by campaigning against excessive, inefficient and irresponsible lighting that shines where it is not wanted nor needed.
Did you know that:
• Light intruding into bedrooms at night can cause problems involving the human immune system and cancer?
• Lights have caused highway fatalities by blinding car drivers?
• Inefficient lighting wastes over £1 billion per annum in the UK alone?
• Less than 10% of the UK population can see the beauty of a natural night sky full of stars?
• Lighting can help criminals see what they are doing. In Saffron Walden, Essex, the police reported that night-time crime almost halved after the street-lighting was turned off over-night.
The British Astronomical Association's Campaign for Dark Skies presented Mr Ashley Nicollson, the owner and director of the well known Paintworks establishment, a consortium of small businesses, at Brislington, Bristol, with a special award for outside lighting of a type which greatly reduces light pollution in that area and contributes to a general improvement in the nighttime environment in this part of Bristol.
The award, the first to be made in Bristol, was presented by Mr Bob Mizon, National Coordinator of the Campaign for Dark Skies,and members of the Bristol Astronomical Society were also present including Mr John Meacham, local representative for the Campaign.