Discover the Night

International
Dark Sky Week 2021

Discover the Night
April 5–12

It may seem harmless, but light pollution has far-reaching consequences that are harmful to all living things. Effective outdoor lighting reduces light pollution, leading to a better quality of life for all. The dark sky movement is working to bring better lighting to communities around the world so that all life can thrive.

Join us this International Dark Sky Week to learn more about the movement, and discover the night where you live.

Get Updates

Cityscape to the Milky Way

A lot of the outdoor lighting used at night is inefficient, overly bright, poorly targeted, improperly shielded, and in many cases, completely unnecessary. This light and the electricity used to create it are being wasted because it spills into the sky rather than being focused on the objects and areas that people need illuminated.

Harmful effects on wildlife

Light pollution harms mammals, birds, amphibians, insects, and reptiles. It can decrease reproduction, disrupt migration, increase predation, and more.

Bad, better, best

Use outdoor lighting responsibly by only using it where it’s needed, when it’s needed, in the amount required, and no more. Make sure to use the lowest light level required, limit the amount of shorter wavelength (blue-violet) light, utilize controls (such as timers or motion sensors), and use shielding to target the light, so it does not spill beyond where it is needed.

Effective outdoor lighting

A wide variety of dark-sky-friendly lighting fixtures are vailable from manufacturers.

What is Light Pollution?

Any artificial light that is not needed is a pollutant that has serious and harmful consequences.

Light pollution can:

  • disrupt wildlife
  • impact human health
  • waste money and energy
  • contribute to climate change
  • block our view of the universe

Light pollution is increasing at 2x rate of population growth and 83% of the global population lives under a light-polluted sky.

Places & People

Protecting the night around the world

Explore the map below to learn more about the global dark sky movement. It provides a small snapshot of some of the wonderful International Dark Sky Places and extraordinary IDA Advocates working to protect the night worldwide. 

 
Within |

About Us

IDA protects the night from light pollution

Artificial light at night has revolutionized the way we live and work outdoors, but it has come at a price. When used indiscriminately, outdoor lighting can disrupt wildlife, impact human health, waste money, and energy, contribute to climate change, and block our view of the universe. 

The International Dark-Sky Association promotes win-win solutions that allow people to appreciate dark, star-filled skies while enjoying the benefits of responsible outdoor lighting.

Our Vision

The night sky, filled with stars, is celebrated and protected around the world as a shared heritage benefiting all living things.

Thank you to our brand partners for year-round support

Leading & Guiding partners

Musco Lighting
Grand Canyon National Park Lodges
The Home Depot

Sustaining & Ally partners

The Oasis at Death Valley
Earth Sun Moon
Deneb, The Stories
Selux Corporation

Outreach partners

Grand Canyon National Park Lodges
The Home Depot
IES
Audubon

Events

All around the world

Your Dark Sky Photos

Tag your Instagram posts with either #IDSW2021, #DarkSkyWeek, or #DiscoverTheNight.

Experience the parks after dark. The stars will leave you breathless. Happy #nationalparkweek
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Thanks to Maggie photo.gypsea for the Organ Pipe Cactus NM adventure. 
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The things I see at 4AM when most of the world is sleeping... an organ pipe, a saguaro, a meteor, and the return of the sky scorpion and the Milky Way. I took a nap in a car wearing a down parka and snowboard pants until 3:45 when the MW rose to get this. If you ask me, it was worth it. 

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#igers_tucson #visitajo #weownthenight_az #nightphotography_exclusive #visitarizona #igsouthwest_np #instagramaz #arizonacollective #youresa #earthpix #idsw2021 #aztagramm #internationaldarkskyweek #naturalarizona  #optoutside #idadarksky #capturearizona #astrophotography #arizonahighways #nikonnofilter #explorearizona #arizonasky #tucsonphotographer #westbysouthwest #arizonaphotographer #organpipecactusnationalmonument
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#nationalparkgeek #wnpa1938

Experience the parks after dark. The stars will leave you breathless. Happy #nationalparkweek
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Thanks to Maggie photo.gypsea for the Organ Pipe Cactus NM adventure.

The things I see at 4AM when most of the world is sleeping... an organ pipe, a saguaro, a meteor, and the return of the sky scorpion and the Milky Way. I took a nap in a car wearing a down parka and snowboard pants until 3:45 when the MW rose to get this. If you ask me, it was worth it.

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#igers_tucson #visitajo #weownthenight_az #nightphotography_exclusive #visitarizona #igsouthwest_np #instagramaz #arizonacollective #youresa #earthpix #idsw2021 #aztagramm #internationaldarkskyweek #naturalarizona #optoutside #idadarksky #capturearizona #astrophotography #arizonahighways #nikonnofilter #explorearizona #arizonasky #tucsonphotographer #westbysouthwest #arizonaphotographer #organpipecactusnationalmonument
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#nationalparkgeek #wnpa1938
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Es war einmal in einer Februarnacht...

Vor rund zwei Monaten habe ich dieses Foto am Rande von Admont gesaeuse mit Blick auf die Kirche Frauenberg gemacht. Die beiden Kirchtürme ragen gerade noch aus dem Nebel heraus, der wenige Momente später alles, auch mich samt Kamera verschluckt hat.

Die orangefarbene Beleuchtung - welche übrigens warme Farbtemperatur bedeutet und, wenn schon Lichtverschmutzung, so zumindest weniger schädlich in seinen Auswirkungen auf Tier und Mensch als kaltes, kurzwelliges blaues Licht ist - schafft eine ganz unwirkliche Stimmung, komplementär zum Winterhimmel. 
Über der Berglandschaft steht die "Wintermilchstraße". Weniger intensiv in ihrer Helligkeit, als zum Beispiel das Milchstraßenzentrum, welches aktuell wieder in den sehr frühen Morgenstunden sichtbar wird. Im Winter schauen wir nämlich sozusagen aus unserer Galaxie hinaus und im Sommer schauen wir in sie hinein.

Nikon D780, Sigma 14-24 bei 22mm, f3.2, ISO 2500, 15 Sek Singleshot

#Lightpollution #againstlightpollution #Lichtverschmutzung #gegenlichtverschmutzung #lichtverschmutzungistdoof #gemeinsamfürdieumwelt #patendernacht #darkskies #darkskies4all #underonesky #discoverthenight #protectthenight #lovedarkskies #turnyourlightsoff #rettetdienacht #sterneschauen #nightskyphotography #nightscapephotography #milkywayphotography #milkyway #milchstraßenfotografie #milchstraße #wintermilchstraße #nachthaltig #mirgehteinlichtaus #austria #gesäuse

Es war einmal in einer Februarnacht...

Vor rund zwei Monaten habe ich dieses Foto am Rande von Admont gesaeuse mit Blick auf die Kirche Frauenberg gemacht. Die beiden Kirchtürme ragen gerade noch aus dem Nebel heraus, der wenige Momente später alles, auch mich samt Kamera verschluckt hat.

Die orangefarbene Beleuchtung - welche übrigens warme Farbtemperatur bedeutet und, wenn schon Lichtverschmutzung, so zumindest weniger schädlich in seinen Auswirkungen auf Tier und Mensch als kaltes, kurzwelliges blaues Licht ist - schafft eine ganz unwirkliche Stimmung, komplementär zum Winterhimmel.
Über der Berglandschaft steht die "Wintermilchstraße". Weniger intensiv in ihrer Helligkeit, als zum Beispiel das Milchstraßenzentrum, welches aktuell wieder in den sehr frühen Morgenstunden sichtbar wird. Im Winter schauen wir nämlich sozusagen aus unserer Galaxie hinaus und im Sommer schauen wir in sie hinein.

Nikon D780, Sigma 14-24 bei 22mm, f3.2, ISO 2500, 15 Sek Singleshot

#Lightpollution #againstlightpollution #Lichtverschmutzung #gegenlichtverschmutzung #lichtverschmutzungistdoof #gemeinsamfürdieumwelt #patendernacht #darkskies #darkskies4all #underonesky #discoverthenight #protectthenight #lovedarkskies #turnyourlightsoff #rettetdienacht #sterneschauen #nightskyphotography #nightscapephotography #milkywayphotography #milkyway #milchstraßenfotografie #milchstraße #wintermilchstraße #nachthaltig #mirgehteinlichtaus #austria #gesäuse
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Early season Milky Way Core coming into view above the Sun Valley Lodge.  Though still amazing, even a minimal amount of light in a small mountain town can have vastly negative effects on the night sky. I’m a little late from my last post about light pollution and Dark Sky Week, but after the second vaccine and finally removing nicotine from my diet after years, let’s just say it’s been a rough one, but exactly what was needed.

Early season Milky Way Core coming into view above the Sun Valley Lodge. Though still amazing, even a minimal amount of light in a small mountain town can have vastly negative effects on the night sky. I’m a little late from my last post about light pollution and Dark Sky Week, but after the second vaccine and finally removing nicotine from my diet after years, let’s just say it’s been a rough one, but exactly what was needed. ...

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With so much of the world in perpetual twilight, many of us never see a naturally dark night sky. Luckily, Utah is home to some of the darkest skies on earth. That’s why the governor recently declared April as Dark Sky Month in Utah. Visiting Zion? You’re in luck! Southern Utah offers some of the best options for your stargazing adventures. Simply step outside your glamping tent, cabin or vacation home and look up, or ask us about our stargazing tours! 

#zionponderosa 

#darkskymonth #darkskyplace #starrynight #milkyway #astronomy #darkskies #discoverthenight #IDSW2021 #lookup #eastzion #eastzionadventures #zionnationalpark #zionnp #zion #southernutah #wowutah #utahunique #forevermighty #visitutah #lifeelevated

With so much of the world in perpetual twilight, many of us never see a naturally dark night sky. Luckily, Utah is home to some of the darkest skies on earth. That’s why the governor recently declared April as Dark Sky Month in Utah. Visiting Zion? You’re in luck! Southern Utah offers some of the best options for your stargazing adventures. Simply step outside your glamping tent, cabin or vacation home and look up, or ask us about our stargazing tours!

#zionponderosa

#darkskymonth #darkskyplace #starrynight #milkyway #astronomy #darkskies #discoverthenight #IDSW2021 #lookup #eastzion #eastzionadventures #zionnationalpark #zionnp #zion #southernutah #wowutah #utahunique #forevermighty #visitutah #lifeelevated
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Wonderful trip around Southwest Utah.  Way too much for one trip..... but exhausted and ready to be home and get some sleep.
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#milkyway #astrophotography #stars #milkywaychasers #longexposure #nightsky #nightphotography #nature #space #photography #galaxy #astronomy #landscape #travel #night #landscapephotography #astrophoto #nightscape #milkywaygalaxy #universe #sonyalphafemale #longexposure_shots #starrynight #southwestskies #naturephotography #milkywayphotography #idadarksky #discoverthenight

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Wonderful trip around Southwest Utah. Way too much for one trip..... but exhausted and ready to be home and get some sleep.
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#milkyway #astrophotography #stars #milkywaychasers #longexposure #nightsky #nightphotography #nature #space #photography #galaxy #astronomy #landscape #travel #night #landscapephotography #astrophoto #nightscape #milkywaygalaxy #universe #sonyalphafemale #longexposure_shots #starrynight #southwestskies #naturephotography #milkywayphotography #idadarksky #discoverthenight

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Milky Way over Goshen Canyon, taken at 4:50 this morning. Mount Nebo can be seen near the bottom. 

Stack of 17x 15 second exposures at ISO 6400 f/2 for the sky, 1x 75 second ISO 800 f/2 for the foreground. That’s me in the lower left painting the canyon walls with a flashlight. 

#idsw2021 #astrophotography #utah

Milky Way over Goshen Canyon, taken at 4:50 this morning. Mount Nebo can be seen near the bottom.

Stack of 17x 15 second exposures at ISO 6400 f/2 for the sky, 1x 75 second ISO 800 f/2 for the foreground. That’s me in the lower left painting the canyon walls with a flashlight.

#idsw2021 #astrophotography #utah
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How far do you have to travel to see a starry sky? 

Growing light pollution around the world impacts everything from human health to nocturnal wildlife. April 5-12 was International Dark Sky Week, a time when we come together to preserve dark skies and reverse the impacts of light pollution. At Haleakalā National Park, we takes steps to keep our nighttime skies dark in order to help our endemic species and improve stargazing for visitors. 

You can help too! Here are some bright ideas:
•	Put your lights on timers to help out nocturnal critters and your electricity bill 
•	Install lighting fixtures that minimize glare to light only what you need 
•	Speak up in your community if dark sky friendly lighting is something that matters to you! 
#DarkSkyWeek #ParkSkies

How far do you have to travel to see a starry sky?

Growing light pollution around the world impacts everything from human health to nocturnal wildlife. April 5-12 was International Dark Sky Week, a time when we come together to preserve dark skies and reverse the impacts of light pollution. At Haleakalā National Park, we takes steps to keep our nighttime skies dark in order to help our endemic species and improve stargazing for visitors.

You can help too! Here are some bright ideas:
• Put your lights on timers to help out nocturnal critters and your electricity bill
• Install lighting fixtures that minimize glare to light only what you need
• Speak up in your community if dark sky friendly lighting is something that matters to you!
#DarkSkyWeek #ParkSkies
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#røsnæs #mitrøsnæs #nejtilmotorvejpårøsnæs #starlitlandscapes #protectthenight #nightphotography #idsw2021

#røsnæs #mitrøsnæs #nejtilmotorvejpårøsnæs #starlitlandscapes #protectthenight #nightphotography #idsw2021 ...

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“I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day." — Vincent Van Gogh 🌌 #discoverthenight #earthmonth 

#astrophotography #nightphotography #nightsky #night #stars #nature #patokalake #cloudscape #cloudphotography #longexposure #longexposureoftheday #longexpo #earthskyscience #earthsky #naturephotography #naturelovers #hoosiergrammers #igersindiana #womeninphotography #stars #stargazing #igerslouisville #indiana #parks #nikonusa #quotes

“I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day." — Vincent Van Gogh 🌌 #discoverthenight #earthmonth

#astrophotography #nightphotography #nightsky #night #stars #nature #patokalake #cloudscape #cloudphotography #longexposure #longexposureoftheday #longexpo #earthskyscience #earthsky #naturephotography #naturelovers #hoosiergrammers #igersindiana #womeninphotography #stars #stargazing #igerslouisville #indiana #parks #nikonusa #quotes
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This weekend we had an Aurora Season encore that did not disappoint. 

📸: alexdevriesphotography #explorecanada #nightimages #nightshooters #auroraseason #discoverchurchill #auroraborealisnotifications #amazing_longexpo  #longexpoelite #worldaurora #ShareYourWeather #universetoday #exploremb #travel #travelpics #northernlights #northernlightsphotos #bestnatureshot #darkskyweek #ipulledoverforthis #darksky #sharecangeo #natgeotravel #natgeoyourshot #canadiancreatives #churchill #imagesofcanada #alexdevriesphotography

This weekend we had an Aurora Season encore that did not disappoint.

📸: alexdevriesphotography #explorecanada #nightimages #nightshooters #auroraseason #discoverchurchill #auroraborealisnotifications #amazing_longexpo #longexpoelite #worldaurora #ShareYourWeather #universetoday #exploremb #travel #travelpics #northernlights #northernlightsphotos #bestnatureshot #darkskyweek #ipulledoverforthis #darksky #sharecangeo #natgeotravel #natgeoyourshot #canadiancreatives #churchill #imagesofcanada #alexdevriesphotography
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Reasons to visit Heber Valley number 1025462. Dark Skies come natural in the mountain valley's of Utah. We hope you'll visit soon. 

PC alandayphotography 

#darkskies #darkskiesutah #nature #theplacetobe #theplacetogo #nightlife #darkskymonth #discoverthenight #forevermighty #visitutah

Reasons to visit Heber Valley number 1025462. Dark Skies come natural in the mountain valley's of Utah. We hope you'll visit soon.

PC alandayphotography

#darkskies #darkskiesutah #nature #theplacetobe #theplacetogo #nightlife #darkskymonth #discoverthenight #forevermighty #visitutah
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"Come with me into the woods. Where spring is advancing, as it does, no matter what, not being singular or particular, but one of the forever gifts, and certainly visible." ~Mary Oliver
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Last week, the world celebrated #InternationalDarkSkyWeek and the skies decided it was worth celebrating by lighting up our nights.

For most of the week, the High Peaks slept under the stars — the brisk winds, a reminder that our spring season is still in early bloom.

It’s also the second time our skies danced in the crayola colors of our Aurora Borealis, a treat no matter the season or the week; however, an important reminder that even our night “viewing” skies are precious here.

Did you know that 86% of the WORLD’s population live under polluted skies?  Did you know that you can help protect and preserve these same views for future generations?

Because what would our night be like without crisp stars, brisk breezes, loon tremolos and moose tromping through the trees?

Come visit.  Come stay.  Come watch the stars.  Come preserve the stars.  Come with us into the woods to see the night sky as spring advances.
📸: magicallyflatyeticorn 
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Maine Auroras
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#maine #mainelife #optoutside #wildmainers #exploremaine #mainehunting #mainenights #nightsky #leavenotrace #bestoftheusa_leavenotrace #maineconservation #maineconservationcorps #conservationorg #tncmaine #newildernesstrust #wildnortheast #neconservation #maineinvitesyou #visitmaine #bestoftheusa_nightscapes #night_captures #rsa_night #night_exposures #raw_nightshots #idsw2021

"Come with me into the woods. Where spring is advancing, as it does, no matter what, not being singular or particular, but one of the forever gifts, and certainly visible." ~Mary Oliver
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Last week, the world celebrated #InternationalDarkSkyWeek and the skies decided it was worth celebrating by lighting up our nights.

For most of the week, the High Peaks slept under the stars — the brisk winds, a reminder that our spring season is still in early bloom.

It’s also the second time our skies danced in the crayola colors of our Aurora Borealis, a treat no matter the season or the week; however, an important reminder that even our night “viewing” skies are precious here.

Did you know that 86% of the WORLD’s population live under polluted skies? Did you know that you can help protect and preserve these same views for future generations?

Because what would our night be like without crisp stars, brisk breezes, loon tremolos and moose tromping through the trees?

Come visit. Come stay. Come watch the stars. Come preserve the stars. Come with us into the woods to see the night sky as spring advances.
📸: magicallyflatyeticorn
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Maine Auroras
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#maine #mainelife #optoutside #wildmainers #exploremaine #mainehunting #mainenights #nightsky #leavenotrace #bestoftheusa_leavenotrace #maineconservation #maineconservationcorps #conservationorg #tncmaine #newildernesstrust #wildnortheast #neconservation #maineinvitesyou #visitmaine #bestoftheusa_nightscapes #night_captures #rsa_night #night_exposures #raw_nightshots #idsw2021
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Support Dark Skies!

Can you pitch in a few dollars a month to protect the night? Support the International Dark-Sky Association by becoming an IDA monthly member today. When you join our monthly giving club, you will receive a special Nighthawk magnet.

Buy a T-Shirt!

Printed in small batches. Lots of styles and sizes available. Proceeds benefit International Dark-Sky Association.