The skies of Alto Tajo, together with those of Señorío de Molina and Sierra Norte, have just obtained the highest quality certification for astronomical observation as a 'Starlight Reserve.' This news was announced at Fitur, although anyone who has stopped to look at the stars in the towns of Alto Tajo already knew about the splendid quality of our night skies.
What is a Starlight reserve?
A Starlight Reserve, so that we all understand, is a specific area where a series of ideal conditions for stargazing are met, which must be certified by the Starlight Foundation, the creator of a nationally and internationally recognizable quality seal.
The Fundación Starlight It officially recognizes the unbeatable conditions for observing the pollution-free night sky, which is becoming increasingly scarce. The evaluation and certification system is based on the principles of the 'Declaration in Defense of the Night Sky and the Right to Starlight,' which, among other criteria, demands the following:
- To have dark skies with little impact from light pollution.
- Atmospheric conditions that allow for a high degree of clarity in observing the firmament.
- The atmosphere should have adequate transparency.
- An appropriate percentage of clear nights throughout the year.
Starlight Reserves are not only places with excellent quality of the sky but must also have means to ensure their protection, and they should be accessible locations, meaning they must have suitable infrastructure and activities related to tourism and their integration with the nocturnal nature. These territories consider stargazing as an integral part of their natural, landscape, cultural, or geological heritage, and they encourage star tourism or astrotourism.
Starlight Reserve Requirements:
To obtain a Starlight certification, one must pass an audit that evaluates the following criteria: auditoria consistente en la evaluación de los siguientes criterios:
- Environmental requirements (quality of the night and daytime sky)
- Strategies for intelligent and innovative lighting.
- Requirements related to technical resources, infrastructure, and services.
- Quality and satisfaction from the supply side.
- Stratégie et gestion des ressources related to starlight.
- Quality and satisfaction of users from the demand side (tourists and civil society).
- Knowledge management (research, innovation, education, and information).
- Macro-management of the Starlight Program and feedback.
It is essential to review all of this two years after certification and renew it every four years to ensure proper maintenance of infrastructure and commitment to care and respect for our skies, which are becoming less visible to the majority of people.
Starlight Reserve: Skies of Guadalajara
The Starlight Reserve "Skies of Guadalajara" was presented at Fitur with the following video:
The administrations responsible for formalizing this category aimed to encompass various natural spaces in the province of Guadalajara under the same certification, branded as "Skies of Guadalajara",which includes Sierra Norte, Barranco del Río Dulce, and Señorío de Molina-Alto Tajo, totaling 161 locations..
We hope that all stakeholders involved in the tourism sector of Alto Tajo and Señorío de Molina can take advantage of the opportunities provided by this certification. It is crucial for a sector that seeks initiatives like this to establish itself as a national tourist destination.
If you want to know more, here is the official PDF that explains the concept of a Starlight Reserve.