Light pollution has been a concern with NOVAC since the club’s beginning.  Over the years we have educated the public at our outreach events, been involved in local government planning, and helped state lighting projects. The glare of light pollution affects all of our members and their observing programs. Find out what you can do to preserve our nighttime skies.

Novac’s local light pollution page has maps of Northern Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia and show the effects of bad lighting in our National Capital region. Maps show state and county boundaries with colors representing the Bortle class rating.


Download the Light Pollution Handout. This document was made to educate the public at outreach events.


Read the Fauquier County, Va lighting ordinance
This ordinance, passed with the help of Novac members, regulates the placement, orientation, distribution and fixture type and size of outdoor lighting. Its  intent is to encourage lighting that provides safety, utility and security, as well as preventing glare on public roadways, and to protect the privacy of adjoining properties.


Our past efforts include building the “Next Generation Light Pollution Map” . This map, showing star counts and limiting magnitudes in the Washington, D.C. area, was part of a cooperative effort with the Washington Post dubbed “Project Orion”. Sky and Telescope writer Fred Schaff called this project the best light-pollution study ever conducted in the United States.


The Astronomical LeagueInternational Dark Sky Association | International Dark-Sky AssociationNOVAC members John Nusbaum and Bob Parks created the Virginia Outdoor Lighting Taskforce (VOLT) to spread the new on light pollution and trespass.

NOVAC is a member of the International Dark Sky Association.

We support the light pollution efforts of The Astronomical League.


Marylander’s can join the Maryland Light pollution Yahoo Group – Subscribe to mdlighting