International Dark Sky week was established in 2003 by high-school student Jennifer Barlow. It aims to reduce light pollution and encourage people all around the world to appreciate the beauty of the night sky. This year, Dark Sky Week runs from April 5th through the 12th. We’re already part way through, but here are some ways you can still celebrate the starry occasion.
First things first, the International Dark Sky Week Association encourages all of us to turn off any unnecessary lights, especially at night, to reduce light pollution. Dark Sky Week also encourages everyone to get outside and try to spot stars in the sky near them. Check out the stars above your own home or in an open space near you and try to pick out different constellations.
If you want to learn more about the stars, there are many celebratory events taking place this week with information about our skies to help appreciate their beauty. Here are just a few of the exciting options. A full list of events can be found on the Dark Sky Week website.
Stars and Stones with Terry Mossley (4/9). In this event, Terry Mossley from the Irish Astronomical Association explains the connection between the stars and the stones at Beaghmore Stone Circles, which date back to 4000-5000 years ago. This is a great event for anyone who wants to learn more about ancient societies’ understanding of astronomy.
Campfire Talk – Dark Night Sky Project (4/9). This event, put on by the Mojave Desert Land Trust and Women In Science Discovering Our Mojave, explores the impact of light pollution on The Mojave Trails National Monument.
Feed from OM telescope (4/10). Check out the universe from the scope of a 14” Meade telescope with this livestream.
Star Hopping with Wendy (4/10). This event takes participants through the night sky at Antelope Island State Park.
83 percent of the global population lives under a light-polluted sky. We encourage you to celebrate International Dark Sky Week and take time to partake in the association’s vision in which, “the night sky, filled with stars, is celebrated and protected around the world as a shared heritage benefiting all living things.”