Starlight Certification for Rural Hotels and Houses is a qualification awarded by the Starlight Foundation to those establishments which, as well as offering accredited quality accommodation, also become involved as active agents in the promotion of the values contained in the “Declaration in Defense of the Night Sky and the Right to Starlight” (“La Palma Declaration”) and which provide their customers with information about Starlight as well as means and instruments for astronomical observation.
Certified Rural Hotels and Houses receive the following from the Starlight Foundation:
– Advice on the acquisition of basic astronomical observation equipment: small telescopes, binoculars, sky charts and other equipment and facilities.
– Aid in measuring the quality of the night sky and advice on where to place the observation instruments.
– Basic training for the personnel of the Rural Hotel or House, if required, in order to work as astronomical monitors.
– Inclusion on the Foundation website, in the section devoted to express publicity of these establishments and their activities.
– The possibility of promotion by other means at the instigation of the Foundation.
– Participation in programs which involve special astronomical tourism offers.
– Advice on how to improve the external lighting of the establishment in order to facilitate night-time observation.
As well as the above, the Starlight Rural Hotel or House may use the Foundation logo in the format it wishes (plaques, flags, advertising, etc).
– To ensure that the quality of the sky in the immediate surroundings is maintained and to report any harm caused by irresponsible lighting.
– To have at least one night telescope available for use by customers and thereby facilitate observation on clear nights. This service may be free or may be charged for, as the establishment wishes.
– To have sufficient binoculars available, in proportion to the number of beds.
– To provide informative material about the night sky (planispheres, sky charts…) to facilitate observation and the identification of objects.
– To provide useful information about local astronomical activities, such as star routes and programmed excursions to any nearby observatories.
– To provide an ongoing supply of information received from the Starlight Foundation or other institutions regarding observable astronomic events (eclipses, alignments, passage of comets…).
– To take the initiative in organizing activities (astrophotography workshops, star nights, specific weekend activities…).
– To have in-house or external personnel who are trained as guides or who have sufficient knowledge to help customers in the interpretation of the sky and the use of the instruments available.
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