Figure 1. MiNiO controller and photometer of the EELabs project at the top base of the cable car. Behind, the ascent to the crater of the Teide volcano.
In order to study the impact of light pollution on the natural areas of Macaronesia, a photometer and a MiNiO controller from the EELabs project were installed last Friday 28 May at the top base of the Teide cable car, which will measure the darkness at night at the highest point in Spain.
The United Nations has defined light pollution as one of the parameters of human activity that are producing environmental change, and should therefore also be included in the processes of so-called global change. Light pollution is changing the nocturnal ecosystems of our planet, with all the consequences that this entails.
When artificial light from cities reaches the atmosphere at night, aerosol particles, the molecules found there and the clouds disperse it in the form of a halo, causing a glow that can reach hundreds of kilometres from where it was emitted. The measurements provided by this photometer will determine the extent to which the atmosphere over the peak of Teide, a protected site within the National Park that bears its name, has deteriorated and should not have been affected by light pollution. Initial measurements indicate that night-time zenithal darkness on Teide peak is 25% greater than the natural darkness measured at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on the island of La Palma.
EELabs (eelabs.eu) es un proyecto financiado por el Programa INTERREG V-A MAC 2014-2020, cofinanciado por el FEDER (Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional) de la Unión Europea, bajo el contrato número MAC2/4.6d/238. En EELabs trabajan 5 centros de la Macaronesia (IAC, ITER, UPGC, SPEA-Azores, SPEA-Madeira). El objetivo de EELabs es crear Laboratorios para medir la Eficiencia Energética de la Luz Artificial Nocturna en áreas naturales protegidas de la Macaronesia (Canarias, Madeira y Azores). STARS4ALL fue un proyecto financiado por la Unión Europea H2020-ICT-2015-688135.