Sunday, April 15, 2012

April 14-20, 2012 Designated As International Dark Sky Week

No matter where we live, both professional and amateur astronomers alike are keenly aware of light pollution and its affects. Not only does artificial lighting wash out the natural beauty of the starry night sky, it is responsible for environmental problems which can hamper everything from hatching sea turtles to migrating birds. Even though it’s a scary situation, it is one than can easily be solved by using common sense and shielded lighting. But how do we get people to become aware of the problem?

International Dark Sky Week (April 14-20) was established for two reasons. It draws attention to the problems of light pollution and it 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.”

While almost every community around the world has problems with light pollution, the reality check is how to make people realize just 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.”

So get out there and get involved! International Dark Sky Week runs from April 14 to April 20 and it’s all part of Global Astronomy Month. Now is a great opportunity to educate friends, family and neighbors about light pollution and share your love of the night sky!

Logo courtesy of the International Dark Skies Association. Check out the IDA Website for information on activites and ideas!

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