The Committee for the Protection of Astronomy and the Space Environment (COMPASSE) is an advisory committee of the Board of Trustees of the American Astronomical Society (AAS). Its purpose is to provide advice to the Board on matters within the scope of its remit. COMPASSE was formerly known as the Committee on Light Pollution, Radio Interference and Space Debris (LPRISD). It assumed its current name in April 2023. COMPASSE is composed of AAS members appointed by the Board of Trustees to renewable three-year terms.

In addition to its advisory role, COMPASSE educates and informs the AAS membership, the media, public officials, and the public about light pollution, radio-frequency interference, space debris, uses of the space environment, and large satellite constellations as they impact both ground-based and space-based astronomy. The Committee also creates opportunities for AAS members to become involved in these efforts and help create positive change that protects and defends the night sky and the space environment in support of astronomy as profession, pastime and source of wonder and inspiration to all humanity.

COMPASSE is guided by our Mission, Vision and Values.


COMPASSE represents the interests of AAS relating to the protection of dark and radio-quiet skies, the safe and sustainable use of outer space, and related issues, and empowers AAS members to be effective advocates for the protection of U.S. astronomy.


A Society whose members constitute a visible presence and an effective voice in the effort to protect dark and quiet skies and the integrity of the space environment to secure the future of astronomy.


Community. We define “community” broadly to include U.S. professional astronomers, amateur astronomers, astronomy educators, and other individuals and organizations interested in astronomy and the night sky.

Diversity. We understand that the community we serve is broad in scope and diverse by nature. It is not monolithic, nor do its members represent any particular, limited set of interests or opinions.

Inclusion. We believe that there is only one night sky that is the common heritage of all humanity, and that astronomy is for everyone. All those with an interest in protecting dark and quiet skies are welcome to join in our movement and work with us.

Collaboration. As a committee consisting of volunteers, we understand the need to be both efficient and effective. We also recognize that in many cases the potential value of COMPASSE is greater than the sum of its parts, and that we all benefit from the combined benefit of our collective expertise and passion for our mission. We therefore prize collegiality and cooperation in its pursuit.

Respect. We believe the best way to overcome division and build bridges is to facilitate honest and respectful dialogue between and among all parties interested in astronomy and the night sky.

Transparency. We recognize that the outputs of our work are of interest to AAS members and the public in general, and they should be made transparently available as a general matter.