International Dark Sky Week
Posted on May 2, 2012 By Mary Ann GenoveseLeave a Comment
The week of April 14-20, 2012 marked the 9th Annual International Dark Sky Week. Started by high school student Jennifer Barlow, IDSW is now a recognized international event that is a huge part of Global Astronomy month.
From April 14-22 (Earth Day), those recognizing the week were encouraged to actively appreciate the night sky and spread awareness of light pollution, which is a growing problem. Not only does light pollution have detrimental effects on our views of the night sky, but it also disrupts the natural environment, wastes energy, and has the potential to cause health problems. Throughout the week participants were encouraged to share ways to help minimize light pollution, such as making smart outdoor lighting choices, which includes shielding or angling lights down to prevent “light trespass” onto other’s property and installing motion detectors so that security lights are only on when needed.
Comparing star-filled nighttime sky views without light pollution (left) as opposed to the grey, seemingly empty sky seen in and around large cities (right).
In addition to spreading awareness, the week is filled with fun events for participants, including stargazing parties that were hosted all over the country. Other events included a lecture on exoplanets and the Mont-Megantic International Dark Sky Reserve at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, various screenings of “The City Dark,” a documentary about light pollution and the disappearing night sky, and a Photo Contest, which was also hosted by McGill University. The winners of the 2012 International Earth and Sky Photo Contest on Dark Skies Importance will be announced this week. Participants were also encouraged to submit photos of the Big Dipper in the northern hemisphere or the Southern Cross in the southern hemisphere to the Dark Skies Photo Project, which is dedicated to helping measure light pollution across the globe.
To learn more about International Dark Sky Week, visit http://www.darksky.org/idsw. To learn more about Light Positive, a boutique lighting design firm specializing in integrated solutions for architecture and landscapes, performing arts, event, and exhibit lighting, visit our website at www.lightpositive.com.
This post was written by Light Positive’s current intern Mary Kauffman, a student at the local high school pursuing her passion for theatrical lighting design.
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