National Dark-Sky Week (NDSW), held during the week of the new moon in April, is a week during which people worldwide turn out their lights in order to observe the beauty of the night sky without light pollution. This event was founded in 2003 by high school student Jennifer Barlow of Midlothian, Virginia and its popularity and participation increases every year.
The goals of the event are to:
- Temporarily reduce light pollution and raise awareness about its effects on the night sky,
- Encourage the use of better lighting systems that direct light downward instead of into the sky, and
- Promote the study of astronomy.
This event always occurs in April, during the week of the new moon so that the sky can be as dark as possible for optimum viewing conditions.
Jennifer Barlow states, "The night sky is a gift of such tremendous beauty that should not be hidden under a blanket of wasted light. It should be visible so that future generations do not lose touch with the wonder of our universe" Barlow explains, "It is my wish that people see the night sky in all of its glory, without excess light in the sky as our ancestors saw it hundreds of years ago."
During International dark sky week get together with friends and family and go outside at night. A lot of us don’t take the opportunity to experience the nighttime environment. Go outside, look up and look around. Lots of interesting stuff is happening during the night hours. Go explore! Better yet, visit one of our International Dark Sky Places!