Dark and Quiet Skies

An IAU Global Outreach Project

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The Dark and Quiet Skies project raises awareness about the need to preserve dark and quiet skies. Through the project, people can learn about the importance of dark skies for human culture, heritage, and health as well as the use of dark and quiet skies for astronomy research.


The IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach (IAU OAO) conducts this project in collaboration with the IAU Commission B7 and various partners.


More information regarding programmes and resources endorsed or created by the IAU OAO to raise awareness on dark and quiet skies is below.



UNESCO International Day of Light

The IAU is a partner for the annual International Day of Light on 16 May. Organised by UNESCO, this day honours the role of light in our lives.


The IAU OAO and the IAU National Outreach Coordinators (NOCs) participate in various events during and around this day to raise awareness on the responsible use of light to preserve dark and quiet skies. In 2021, we also welcome people to participate in activities that promote scientific thinking in our lives.


If you are creating a local event under the IAU OAO dark and quiet skies initiative, please register your event with the Astronomy Outreach Event Calendar.


Learn more about the International Day of Light here: https://www.lightday.org/


Make the Trust Science Pledge in honour of the 2021 International Day of Light here: https://www.trust-science.org/



International Dark Sky Week

The IAU OAO is an outreach partner with the International Dark Sky Week. The week is hosted by the International Dark-Sky Association to raise awareness about light pollution’s many negative effects.


Learn more about International Dark Sky Week here: https://idsw.darksky.org/



Globe@Night Citizen Science Campaign

The IAU OAO proudly endorses the monthly Globe@Night citizen science campaign. This project gathers data from volunteer observers to track the impact of light pollution over time. Contributing occurs for a one week period each month and requires no more than your eyes and an internet connection.


Learn how you can participate here: https://www.globeatnight.org/


Start and end dates for each monthly observing period will be shared on the IAU OAO Facebook and Twitter.


Globe at Night - Sky Brightness Monitoring Network (GaN-MN)

Globe at Night - Sky Brightness Monitoring Network (GaN-MN) is a special project that extends the Globe at Night project through a global network of commercially-available sky-brightness meters for long-term monitoring of light pollution. The project is conducted in partnership with the University of Hong Kong.


Learn how to join here: http://globeatnight-network.org/global-at-night-monitoring-network.html


Dark Skies for All

Dark Skies for All aims to raise awareness of the preservation of quiet and dark skies. The project capitalises on student engagement and IAU Dark Skies Ambassadors network to further protection of the night sky against light pollution. The project is a legacy of the IAU centenary and is done in partnership with the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) in India.


Learn more about Dark Skies for All here: https://darkskies4all.org/home/


IAU Dark Skies Ambassadors

The IAU Dark Skies Ambassadors programme invites keen enthusiasts worldwide to be dark sky advocates. The ambassadors organise projects and events in their communities to locally promote dark skies. Joining the programme allows you to join a supportive environment of peers and provides international visibility of your efforts.


Learn more about the IAU Dark Skies Ambassadors here: https://darkskies4all.org/ambassador/


Dark Skies Rangers

The Dark Skies Rangers programme provides resources for primary and early secondary school kids to learn about light pollution and go out to measure light pollution in their own communities. Resources include lesson plans and worksheets for teachers set to US education standards.


Learn more about Dark Skies Rangers here: https://www.globeatnight.org/dsr/



IAU Publications

IAU Light Pollution brochure: https://www.iau.org/public/images/detail/light-pollution-brochure/

• Translations are available in Chinese (Traditional) (漢語), Indonesian (bahasa Indonesia), Malay (bahasa Melayu), Portuguese (português), Polish (polski), Spanish (español) and Turkish (Türk dili)

IAU theme on light pollution: https://www.iau.org/public/themes/light_pollution

IAU theme on satellite constellations: https://www.iau.org/public/themes/satellite-constellations/

On-line Workshop Dark and Quiet Skies for Science and Society: Report and recommendationshttps://www.iau.org/static/publications/dqskies-book-29-12-20.pdf


Please see the Commission B7 and Working Group on Dark and Quiet Skies webpages for more information on IAU actions regarding dark and quiet skies.


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