IT is one of the institutions involved in the Dark Sky@Xisto, a sustainable turism initiative promoted by the Comunidade Inter-Municipal de Coimbra, The Associação das Aldeias the Xisto and the city of Pampilhosa da Serra, with the aim of establishing a Dark Sky Reserve in the Portuguese center territory. The project´s name Xisto comes from the fact that the Portuguese center region is characterized by the Rede das Aldeias de Xisto, integrating 27 villages from 16 municipalities in a territory that stretches between Castelo Branco and Coimbra.
Dark-Sky Reserves are locations that possess an exceptional or distinguished quality of starry nights and nocturnal environment that are specifically protected for its scientific, natural, educational, cultural, heritage and/or public enjoyment.
Our IT researcher Domingos Barbosa is involved in the certification process, verifying and mapping the quality of the sky (darkness, the amount of clouds as well as the atmosphere turbulence), in the different cities of the Comunidade Inter-Municipal de Coimbra. According to Domingos Barbosa, these technical pre-requisites, established by the Starlight Tourism Destination, the UNESCO and the World Tourism Organization, are the necessary conditions to proceed with the process.
Remembering the success of the first Portuguese Dark-Sky Reserve in Alqueva, Domingos Barbosa believes that this new reserve “will have a clear medium-long term impact in the Portuguese center region”.