About the Dark Sky Sim project

Dark Sky Sim is a project that was initially funded by the International Astronomical Union’s Office of Astronomy for Development in 2017. The project consists of a physical simulator that demonstrates the effects of light pollution on the starry sky and the difference that well-designed lighting can make. The simulator consists of a LED-based model board simulating the starry sky and several LED model light fixtures. The board simulates the night sky using LED’s of variable brightness, simulating stars of various magnitudes and constellation patterns. The board is illuminated by the light fixtures and users can use buttons to switch between light fixtures as well as increase or decrease light intensity. This creates a first-hand experience for demonstrating the effect of light pollution as different light fixtures have different effect on the number of stars visible.
The simulator can be used in exhibition halls, conferences, science museums or any other venue where light pollution effects need to be demonstrated. This physical simulator provides superior experience for visitors in relation to videos/posters or other usual methods of exhibiting light pollution effects. The projectis not only created a single simulator but provides to the public the full instructions and material list so anyone interested can build such a simulator in their local community.

The Simulator


Dark Sky Sim Team

Andreas Papalambrou

Project coordinator

Nadia Bali

Project scientific officer


You can contact the Dark Sky Sim team by email: team [at] darkskysim.com