Milky Way Scene above the Official Observatory of Dark Sky® Alqueva in Cumeada Village


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The image shows a wide mosaic scene of the Official Dark Sky® Alqueva Observatory as seen from inside to outside. Located in the small village of Cumeada, near Reguengos city, in Alentejo, Portugal, the area comprises a recovered building with some history from an old primary school adapted to receive two roll-off roof observatories equipped with cutting-edge telescopes for visual astronomical observations and for astrophotography purposes. Dark Sky@ Alqueva, was since 2011 the First Starlight Tourism Destination in the World and one of the first to successfully implement and develop the concept known as Astrotourism, being awarded in 2019 with a “Tourism Oscar” from World Travel Awards, as Europe´s Responsible Tourism Award 2019. A dedicated team is permanently making large efforts to change minds, sensitising the problem of light pollution and trying along with authorities to improve the quality of the night sky and life in all forms, to achieve a better street illumination. As result, Cumeada village has only 70 street lights, all of them directly pointing to the ground, using low power and a color temperature of 2700 kelvin. The ideia of Astrotourism, is not to create a total blackout on the villages or cities, but instead is to showing a positive impact on society inspiring the will of travelling for a major purpose. With this measures, is possible to respect the night sky and all the surrounding needs from locals, while enjoying the comfort of modernity such as good restaurants and rural hotels to rest, as well as wonderful night activities which is can be held under a pristine and protected sky, such as stargazing with naked eye or telescopes. This complex mosaic shows in the background the beautiful summer arch of Milky Way galaxy above the village and Observatory, revealing that is possible to clearly distinguish the Milky Way arch in all of its splendour, as well as the street itself, roads and surroundings, meaning that people can feel secure and peaceful at the same time. This procedure had a huge impact in the night sky quality that is constantly monitored with a Sky Quality Meter registering an average measurement of SQM: 21.40 mag/arcsec^2.

PT: A imagem revela uma ampla cena em mosaico do Observatório Oficial Dark Sky® Alqueva, visto de dentro para fora. Localizado na pequena vila de Cumeada, perto da cidade de Reguengos, no Alentejo, Portugal, a área compreende um edifício histórico recuperado de uma antiga escola primária do Estado Novo, adaptado para receber dois observatórios de tecto retráctil equipados com telescópios de ponta para observações astronómicas visuais e para fins de astrofotografia. O Dark Sky @ Alqueva, desde 2011, foi o Primeiro Destino Starlight do Mundo e um dos primeiros a implementar e desenvolver com sucesso o conceito denominado Astroturismo, tendo sido premiado em 2019 com um “Oscar do Turismo” nos aclamados World Travel Awards, como “Europe´s Responsible Tourism Award 2019″. Uma equipa dedicada está permanentemente a fazer grandes esforços para mudar as mentes, sensibilizando o problema da poluição luminosa e tentando junto das autoridades competentes, melhorar a qualidade do céu noturno e da vida em todas as suas formas, para obter assim uma iluminação mais saudável e eficiente das ruas públicas. Como resultado, a vila de Cumeada possui apenas 70 luminárias, todos elas apontando directamente para o solo, usando pouca energia e uma temperatura de cor de 2700 kelvin. A ideia do astroturismo não é criar um blackout total nas aldeias ou cidades, mas sim mostrar um impacto positivo na sociedade, inspirando a vontade de viajar para um objetivo maior. Com estas medidas, é possível respeitar o céu noturno e todas as necessidades dos habitantes locais, enquanto se desfruta do conforto da modernidade, com bons restaurantes e hotéis rurais para descansar, além de actividades noturnas maravilhosas que podem ser realizadas sob um céu pristino e agradável, como observar as estrelas a olho nu ou com telescópios. Este mosaico complexto mostra em pano de fundo o belo arco de verão da Via Láctea acima da vila e do Observatório, revelando que é possível distinguir claramente o arco da Via Láctea em todo o seu esplendor, bem como a própria rua, as estradas e arredores, o que significa que as pessoas podem se sentir seguras e em paz ao mesmo tempo. Este procedimento teve um enorme impacto na qualidade do céu noturno da região da sede, que é constantemente monitorizado com um Medidor da Qualidade do Céu (SQM) registando uma medida média de SQM: 21,45 mag/arcsec^2.



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