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International Dark Sky Week is April 22 to 30

International Dark Sky Week poster in blues and purples with family pointing at sky.
International Dark Sky Week runs from April 22-30, 2022. Image via IDA.

According to the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) – founded in 1988 and based in Tucson, Arizona – light pollution is increasing at a rate two times that of population growth, and 83% of the global population lives under a light-polluted sky. That’s why the group has established an International Dark Sky Week, which in 2022 falls on April 22 to 30. Goals for the week include turning off unneeded exterior lights and considering leaving them off all year long. The group also hopes you’ll learn the stars and constellations, and teach them to others, and join the global dark sky movement to protect and celebrate our shared heritage.

According to the IDA:

It may seem harmless, but light pollution has far-reaching consequences that are harmful to all living things. Effective outdoor lighting reduces light pollution, leading to a better quality of life for all. The dark sky movement is working to bring better lighting to communities around the world so that all life can thrive.

City brightening the sky on left to darker shades and Milky Way on right.
Poor lightning in cities leads to larger amounts of light pollution. From a dark country sky, you can see the river of stars that makes up our galaxy, the Milky Way. Image via IDA.

Ways to celebrate International Dark Sky Week

Looking for ways to celebrate International Dark Sky Week? Find International Dark Sky Week events all over the world, organized by astronomy clubs, schools, universities, communities and more.

Visit EarthSky’s night sky guide to see what you can view in the sky this week. The Lyrid meteor shower is going on. A great line-up of planets is in the morning sky, with a Venus-Jupiter conjunction is coming later this month. Right now, in the evening sky, Mercury and the Pleiades star cluster are nearing one another. And there’s always more.

Visit EarthSky’s Best Places to Stargaze page to find a good dark-sky observing site close to home. Share your night sky photos at EarthSky Community Photos.

Paul Bogard has written extensively on the importance of darkness. His book is titled The End of Night. His TEDx Talk focuses on why we need darkness. You’ll find his TEDx Talk here.

Poster with animals around a bright streetlight.
Curbing light pollution also benefits wildlife. Image via IDA.

Dark-sky photos from the EarthSky Community

Submit your photo to EarthSky here

Triangular glow of light from horizon to upper left, bright spot and Milky Way in corner.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Gary Deacon shared this image and wrote: “The zodiacal light including a portion of the Milky Way, Venus and Mars photographed at 03h06 UTC on March 3, 2022, from Bortle 1 class skies above Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve, Western Cape, South Africa. Zodiacal light is a faint column of light that extends up from the horizon in the plane of the ecliptic (after dusk/before dawn) as a result of sunlight scattered by an interplanetary cloud of tiny dust particles orbiting the sun and reflected toward Earth. The dust particles were originally thought to be remnants of asteroids or comets that traveled through the inner solar system. New data from NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter suggests that the particles are ejected from Mars during global dust storms.” Thank you, Gary!
Milky Way arching over landscape with light glow on horizon.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Kathie O’Donnell in Amargosa Valley, Nevada, took this image on March 12, 2022. Kathie wrote: “Image taken at the Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, which is about 30 miles (48 km) outside of Death Valley. Venus and the Milky Way are still visible. The light pollution on the right I believe is from Pahrump, Nevada.” Thank you, Kathie!

Bottom line: Celebrate dark night skies and help limit light pollution by raising awareness through the annual International Dark Sky Week, April 22 to 30, 2022. Find links to global events here.

Posted 
April 22, 2022
 in 
Astronomy Essentials

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Kelly Kizer Whitt

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