Photo Exhibition Highlights Imperative to Protect Near-Space
The International Astronomical Union’s (IAU) Centre for the Protection of the Dark and Quiet Sky from Satellite Constellation Interference (CPS), which is co-hosted by NSF’s NOIRLab and SKA Observatory, is supporting a photography exhibition that explores the challenges of space sustainability, including the impact of mega-satellite constellations on astronomy and the human experience of the night sky.
The International Astronomical Union’s Centre for the Protection of the Dark and Quiet Sky from Satellite Constellation Interference (CPS) is supporting a photography exhibition that demonstrates the vulnerability of near-space and the urgent need for its sustainable use.
Called Our Fragile Space, the collection of artistic photography, reportage, and portraiture opened in London on 6 October 2022 to coincide with the United Nations’ World Space Week. International photographer and science communicator Max Alexander created the series.
“Through beautiful images and compelling stories, this exhibition expertly captures the current challenge of space sustainability,” said CPS Co-Director Federico Di Vruno, who attended the launch at Lloyd’s. Di Vruno also serves as Spectrum Manager of the SKA Observatory (SKAO), another sponsor of Our Fragile Space.
“Max Alexander highlights the topic of space debris as well as its effects on the night sky and astronomy, the area that the CPS and the SKAO actively work in,” Di Vruno added. “We find ourselves at an inflexion point with respect to space sustainability and public awareness is therefore much needed. Our Fragile Space helps achieve that,” added Connie Walker, CPS Co-Director from NSF’s NOIRLab.
Alexander said given the dramatic growth in satellite numbers, he wanted “to contribute to the understanding of what is happening in our near-space environment, including the potential loss of the night sky for humanity.”
Lloyd’s pass holders and their registered guests can access the exhibition until 21 October 2022 during the insurance marketplace’s usual opening hours. Others can book a free private viewing on 10, 14, 17 and 21 October.
The collection will then go on tour internationally, culminating in an exhibition at the European Space Agency’s Space Debris Conference in 2025.
NSF’s NOIRLab (National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory), the US center for ground-based optical-infrared astronomy, operates the international Gemini Observatory (a facility of NSF, NRC–Canada, ANID–Chile, MCTIC–Brazil, MINCyT–Argentina, and KASI–Republic of Korea), Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO), Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO), the Community Science and Data Center (CSDC), and Vera C. Rubin Observatory (operated in cooperation with the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory). It is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with NSF and is headquartered in Tucson, Arizona. The astronomical community is honored to have the opportunity to conduct astronomical research on Iolkam Du’ag (Kitt Peak) in Arizona, on Maunakea in Hawai‘i, and on Cerro Tololo and Cerro Pachón in Chile. We recognize and acknowledge the very significant cultural role and reverence that these sites have to the Tohono O'odham Nation, to the Native Hawaiian community, and to the local communities in Chile, respectively.
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