Carnegie Science | Fall 2018 19 In July, members of the Department of Embryology showed off some of their science to Congressional members and Capitol Hill staff at the Celebrate Life Sciences Fair. The Zheng lab, Halpern lab, and BioEYEs science outreach program led demonstrations with zebrafish, jellyfish, and coral. They also chatted with policymakers about the importance of federal science funding. Over 120 visitors attended, including three members of Congress. A group of astronomers from Carnegie’s Las Campanas Observatory (LCO) including Mark Phillips and Guillermo Blanc, along with Miguel Roth from the Giant Magellan Telescope Organization, recently presented the case against light pollution to Chilean authorities. Combating light pollution is not about demanding complete darkness. It is about illuminating human spaces well, Blanc explained. He reported on the effects of light from cities, highways, and mines near the nation’s biggest astronomical observatories. Experts from diverse fields ranging from biology, astronomy, and medicine to architecture, urban planning, and design presented their light pollution concerns with a goal of reviewing and improving the state of Chile’s public policies on the matter. Of particular concern for astronomy at Las Campanas and nearby La Silla is the Algarrobo highway. Blanc suggested downward-facing lights with limited emissions that are monochromatic, such as filtered and “amber”-colored LEDs, would improve the situation. Other presentations included details about how seabird populations, particularly fledglings, are affected by artificial lights, the impact of light pollution on human sleep cycles, and how our circadian rhythms are altered by shifting sleep schedules. The nation’s first lighting-related regulations date to 1998, and they apply only to northern Chile, to mitigate negative effects on astronomical observations. In 2012 a new ordinance was created, which considered additional concerns such as limits on the intensity of emitted light, the angle of emission, and the wavelength range allowed. The discussion was part of the inaugural International Day of Light as proclaimed by UNESCO for which there were events planned around the world. The Chilean program was organized by national science and technology agencies and other groups to draw attention to problems caused by light pollution. “This event was the product of a long-term relationship between the international observatories in Chile, including Las Campanas, and the Chilean government to work on the protection of the Atacama Desert as a natural laboratory for astronomical research,” Blanc said. “It shows Carnegie’s commitment to have a positive social and environmental impact in LCO’s host country.” Embryology Goes to Washington Las Campanas Astronomers Take On Light Pollution Terrone Jasper discusses the BioEYES science outreach program. It uses zebrafish to teach students and teachers about development, genetics, and more. Over 120 visitors attended the Capitol Hill event that emphasized the importance of federal funding on science. Images courtesy Miriam Alexander-Kearns Carnegie’s Las Campanas Observatory in Chile has some of the darkest skies and best viewing conditions found anywhere, and astronomers remain vigilant in keeping light pollution to a minimum. Image courtesy Yuri Beletsky A group of astronomers presented the case against light pollution to Chilean authorities.