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Photos from International Dark Sky Week!

Beautiful images of a dark night sky, in celebration of International Dark Sky Week, April 13-19, 2015.

Greg Hogan created this image.  Isn't it great?  Thanks, Greg!

Greg Hogan created this image. Isn’t it great? Thanks, Greg!

This past week (April 13-19, 2015), we’ve been celebrating International Dark Sky Week. EarthSky’s many talented astrophotographer friends around the globe sent in these awesome – no other word to use – photos! Thank you to all who contributed!

The aim of International Dark Sky Week is to inspire people to celebrate the beauty of the night sky. It’s also to raise awareness about the problems associated with light pollution and simple solutions available to mitigate it. Find out more here.

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View larger. | “Sit back and enjoy – International Dark Sky Week. Pakiri, New Zealand.” Photo: Joanne Ottey

Photo by Lynton Brown Landscapes in Australia.  Visit Lynton Brown's Facebook page.

Photo by Lynton Brown Landscapes in Australia.

Scott MacNeill is a frequent contributor to EarthSky Photos on G+.  He wrote this week:

Scott MacNeill is a frequent contributor to EarthSky Photos on G+. He wrote this week: “Here is a shot I snapped last night of the Messier 5 globular cluster in the constellation Serpens from Frosty Drew Observatory in Charlestown, Rhode Island, USA. The skies have been clear for almost three consecutive days in New England so I’ve been getting out and enjoying the starscape!” Thanks, Scott!

Chris Bakley captured this image at Cape May, New Jersey.  Thank you, Chris.

Chris Bakley captured this image at Cape May, New Jersey. Thank you, Chris.

Dark night sky selfie by EarthSky Facebook friend Jean-Baptiste Feldmann in France.  Thank you, Jean-Baptiste!

Dark night sky selfie by EarthSky Facebook friend Jean-Baptiste Feldmann in France. Thank you, Jean-Baptiste!

Here's another image from Scott MacNeill.  He's shooting from the Frosty Drew Observatory in Rhode Island.  He wrote:

Here’s another image from Scott MacNeill. He’s shooting from the Frosty Drew Observatory in Rhode Island. He wrote: “Hi Earthsky! Here is a shot I snapped of Antares and the Rho Ophiuchus Cloud Complex on March 23, 2015 … Saturn is at the top right and is a stunning temporary addition to Scorpius.”

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View larger. | “Happy International Dark Sky Week … Milky Way panorama over a salt lake in Western Australia” Photo: Astrophotobear

Leonard Bevaart in Canada wrote on April 11:

Leonard Bevaart in Canada wrote on April 11: “A small part of last nights insanely beautiful aurora display. I have never seen then like that before and it was magical!” Thank you, Leonard!

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View larger. | “Venus, Pleiades, and the Orion Arm of the Milky Way over Buffalo and Red Mountain of the Gore Range – Summit County, Colorado.” Photo: Daniel McVey

Venus and Pleiades on April 9, 2015, courtesy of our Facebook friend, Stephen Rahn.

Venus and Pleiades on April 9, 2015, courtesy of our Facebook friend, Stephen Rahn.

Another lucky shot of the March 29 moon and Jupiter inside a lunar halo, from Amy Van Aartsdalen.

Dark sky astronomers try to avoid the moon, but you can’t beat seeing the moon and Jupiter inside a lunar halo. Photo taken in March 2015 by Amy Van Aartsdalen.

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View larger. | “The world’s largest salt flats are situated at 3,656 meters (11,995 ft), and cover a huge area: 10,582 sq km (4,086 sq. miles) in the center of Bolivia. In the center is a small island covered in approximately 3,000 cactus, which is quite bizarre, and almost like a huge film set. The nearest town, and hence lightbulb even, is 85 km (52 miles) away on the west shore, the small village of Llica, and 95 km (60 miles) away to the west is Uyuni. There is just no light pollution, as both places are well below the horizon and there is nothing else around for hours, and together with the extreme altitude the night skies are just amazing …This image is composed of 12 images stitched into panorama in Photoshop.” Photo credit: © Andrew Dare

A beautiful and starry night at Kvænangsfjellet in Troms, Norway. © 2015 Tor-Ivar Næss

This photo has it all … the Milky Way, an aurora and beautiful and starry night at Kvænangsfjellet in Troms, Norway. © 2015 Tor-Ivar Næss

View larger. | The Milky Way as seen from Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in Arizona, by Dave Lane Astrophotography.  Visit Dave Lane's Facebook page.

View larger. | The Milky Way as seen from Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in Arizona, by Dave Lane Astrophotography.

“I was photographing a 180 degree view of the Milky Way over Glacier National Park when the headlight from a passing train shone across the foothills framing Mount St. Nicholas. At first I thought the image was  ruined, but it turned out great instead … This is a stitch of 14 individual frames, two rows of seven photos, to achieve a 180 degree view.” Photo credit: John Ashley

Photo by Jeff Berkes Photography.  Visit him on Facebook.

Mount Rainier, the Milky Way and a Perseid meteor!Photo by Jeff Berkes Photography. Visit Jeff’s photography website.

Milky Way shot from Pakiri Beach, New Zealand on February 28, 2015. Photo credit: Amit Kamble

Milky Way shot from Pakiri Beach, New Zealand on February 28, 2015. Photo credit: Amit Kamble

Photo by Jason Brownlee.  Visit Jason Brownlee Design on Facebook

Jason Brownlee captured this view last August of the Todd Lake Basin in Oregon, with Mt. Bachelor – a stratovolcano, since 1958 the site of a ski lodge – and the Milky Way in the background.
Copyright 2014 Jason Brownlee. Used with permission. Visit Jason Brownlee Design on Facebook

International Dark Sky Week was created in 2003 by high-school student Jennifer Barlow, has become a worldwide event. In explaining why she started the week, Barlow said:

I want people to be able to see the wonder of the night sky without the effects of light pollution. The universe is our view into our past and our vision into the future…. I want to help preserve its wonder.

Bottom line: International Dark Sky Week 2015 runs from April 13-19. The aim of International Dark Sky Week is to inspire people to celebrate the beauty of the night sky, and also to raise awareness about the problems associated with light pollution and simple solutions available to mitigate it.

Eleanor Imster

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