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International Dark Sky Week


Like many natural wonders, a beautiful night sky inspires and moves people from all walks of life. For all of history the grandeur and beauty of a night sky has been part of our shared human experience, yet star-filled night skies are now fading, washed out by the glow of city lights. International Dark Sky Week (April 14-20) serves not only to draw attention to the problems of light pollution, but also offers solutions and reasons to observe the night sky. Bob Parks, Executive Director of the International Dark-Sky Association says, “Light pollution is easily fixed, and it is a win-win-win situation. Directing light where you need and only using the amount that is needed saves money, energy, and reduces greenhouse gases. Celebrating International Dark Sky Week is a great way to learn about the problem and attend some fun activities.” Artificial light shining up into the sky creates light pollution, and it does more than just dull the view for stargazers. Excessive and poorly directed lights are a tremendous waste of energy. They can create deep shadows that are unsafe for pedestrians, cause hatchling sea turtles to lose sight of the ocean, and confuse migrating birds causing them to fly into buildings. Light pollution has other far-reaching effects unknown to many who continue to use ineffective lighting and inadvertently add to light pollution in their communities. Although the problem is serious, the solution for many is as simple as changing bulb wattage, using motion sensors, or installing hoods over bare bulbs. The reality is that most communities suffer from light pollution, but very few people are aware of what they are missing. International Dark Sky Week was created to raise awareness of the problem by giving people fun events to attend that get them out under the sky. Parks continues, “International Dark Sky Week takes place during April’s Global Astronomy Month, which is already packed with cool things to do. Our website lists over 50 events taking place and includes things that you can do on your own to make a difference in fighting light pollution -- everything from how to measure light pollution in your backyard, to how to attend or throw your own star party.” International Dark Sky Week, from April 14 to April 20, is a great chance to get educated, get involved, attend astronomy-themed events, and become a voice for reducing light pollution. Contact: W. Scott Kardel Public Affairs Director International Dark-Sky Association wskardel@darksky.org +1 520 293-3198 x402 Learn more about IDA’s International Dark Sky Week and Global Astronomy Month: http://www.darksky.org/idsw IDA is the only non-profit working to address light pollution around the world. Among its efforts, the organization provides information brochures, workshops, a model lighting ordinance, manages a night sky conservation program, and awards the distinguished IDA Fixture Seal of Approval to applicants with lighting fixtures that are dark-sky friendly.