Geneva to switch off its streetlights to help locals see the stars

Geneva to switch off its streetlights to help locals see the stars

Geneva is set to give its residents a golden opportunity to see the stars by switching off all its public lights on the night of September 22. Over 180 local councils are due to take part in the event, with night walks, exhibitions, concerts and other activities planned across the city.

Geneva to be plunged into darkness on September 22

This Friday, Geneva is set to host the fourth edition of “The Night is Beautiful!” (La nuit est belle!). As part of the festivities, more than 180 individual municipalities in Greater Geneva and a number of others in parts of Canton Vaud, Valais and Lyon in France will be switching off their streetlights to help their residents see more stars with the naked eye.

The organisers explained that the event should give city-dwellers a rare chance to see the inky black coated with a sea twinkling lights. They also hope that it will raise awareness regarding the impact of light pollution on cities and public health and how everyone can reduce excessive artificial light in the future. "Too much intrusive lighting around our homes disrupts our biological rhythm and can lead to sleep disorders,” the organisers noted.

80 stargazing-related events to take place in Geneva

Alongside plunging the city into darkness, around 80 different stargazing-related activities are planned across Geneva on the night of September 22. These include observation lessons, exhibitions, night walks, story readings, concerts, candlelit meals and more. They will also be distributing reflective material to make attendees more visible to cyclists and drivers.

According to the organisers, if it is dark enough and the weather is clear, the Milky Way should be visible from sunset on September 22, crossing in a vertical arc overhead. Saturn (and its rings if you have a telescope) should be visible from 10pm, while Jupiter, the Pleiades cluster, Venus and Mercury should all be visible from 5.30am on September 23.

For more information about the event, and to see which neighbourhoods are participating, check out the official website.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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