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.

dashing through the countryside

#blackandwhiteshot #blackandwhitephotography #outdoorshot #outdoorsjournal  #darknessvisible #darkness #darksky #darkskyweek #darkskytravels #darknessisbeautiful #blackandwhite #photographer #ig #b&w #photography #norfolkroads #norfolk #norfolklife #norfolkcountryside #trees #treesforlife #treesplease #treesup

dashing through the countryside

#blackandwhiteshot #blackandwhitephotography #outdoorshot #outdoorsjournal #darknessvisible #darkness #darksky #darkskyweek #darkskytravels #darknessisbeautiful #blackandwhite #photographer #ig #b&w #photography #norfolkroads #norfolk #norfolklife #norfolkcountryside #trees #treesforlife #treesplease #treesup
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The Devil’s House. 

Here’s another view of Thursday’s solar eclipse. The photo I posted a few days ago was taken with a solar filter. This one was taken just as the sun cleared the tree line, with no filter. No edits done to this photo, other than cropping. This is the raw photo straight out of the camera.

#sunrise_and_sunsets #sunsets_captures #landscape #landscapephotography #sunrisephotography #goodmorning #sunsetphotography #connecticutphotographer #connecticut_igers #localconnecticut #ctviews #visitct #raw_newengland #bestofthenutmegstate #bestofconnecticut #ignewengland #madisonct #shoreline_ct #solareclipse #eclipse #newenglandphotography #naturalconnecticut #scenesofct #newenglandwithlove #discoverthenight

The Devil’s House.

Here’s another view of Thursday’s solar eclipse. The photo I posted a few days ago was taken with a solar filter. This one was taken just as the sun cleared the tree line, with no filter. No edits done to this photo, other than cropping. This is the raw photo straight out of the camera.

#sunrise_and_sunsets #sunsets_captures #landscape #landscapephotography #sunrisephotography #goodmorning #sunsetphotography #connecticutphotographer #connecticut_igers #localconnecticut #ctviews #visitct #raw_newengland #bestofthenutmegstate #bestofconnecticut #ignewengland #madisonct #shoreline_ct #solareclipse #eclipse #newenglandphotography #naturalconnecticut #scenesofct #newenglandwithlove #discoverthenight
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darkness

#blackandwhiteshot #blackandwhitephotography #outdoorshot #outdoorsjournal  #darknessvisible #darkness #darksky #darkskyweek #darkskytravels #darknessisbeautiful #blackandwhite #photographer #ig #b&w #photography #silhouette #silhouettechallange

darkness

#blackandwhiteshot #blackandwhitephotography #outdoorshot #outdoorsjournal #darknessvisible #darkness #darksky #darkskyweek #darkskytravels #darknessisbeautiful #blackandwhite #photographer #ig #b&w #photography #silhouette #silhouettechallange
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Congrats to the latest Colorado locale added to the International Dark Sky Community! 

Posted withregram • norwoodcolorado From U.S. Hwy 550 to the Utah border, Colorado’s West End region is on its way to becoming even more of a dark sky haven. Big congrats to our friends and neighbors to the west in Nucla and Naturita on becoming the Colorado’s newest idadarksky communities!
Photo: coloradic
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#norwoodcolorado #westendcolorado #visitwestend #norwooddarksky #nuclanaturita #nuclanaturitadarksky #darksky #darkskycommunity #idadarksky #turnoffthelights #discoverthenight #nightskyphotography #milkyway #milkywayphotography #milkywaychasers #astrophotography #coloradoexperiences #coloradophotography #coloradocameraclub #outtherecolorado #coloradoredefined #findyourwild

Congrats to the latest Colorado locale added to the International Dark Sky Community!

Posted withregram • norwoodcolorado From U.S. Hwy 550 to the Utah border, Colorado’s West End region is on its way to becoming even more of a dark sky haven. Big congrats to our friends and neighbors to the west in Nucla and Naturita on becoming the Colorado’s newest idadarksky communities!
Photo: coloradic
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#norwoodcolorado #westendcolorado #visitwestend #norwooddarksky #nuclanaturita #nuclanaturitadarksky #darksky #darkskycommunity #idadarksky #turnoffthelights #discoverthenight #nightskyphotography #milkyway #milkywayphotography #milkywaychasers #astrophotography #coloradoexperiences #coloradophotography #coloradocameraclub #outtherecolorado #coloradoredefined #findyourwild
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“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” —Maya Angelou

Hands down, my personal favorite sunrise photo. As I stood there waiting, I saw the clouds and thought this wouldn’t be a good show. How wrong I was! As the sun finally peeked above the horizon, the clouds lit up the sky in a kaleidoscope of swirling colors. The view changed by the second, and I must have held my breath for a good 30 seconds without realizing it. At one point, I had tears streaming down my face as I took in the abject beauty of the scene. There was an elderly man sitting next to me who started chuckling and said, “It’s just a sunrise, son.” 🙄 Well, sir, this one took my breath away. 

#sunrise_and_sunsets #sunsets_captures #landscape #landscapephotography #sunrisephotography #goodmorning #sunsetphotography #connecticutphotographer #connecticut_igers #localconnecticut #ctviews #visitct #raw_newengland #bestofthenutmegstate #bestofconnecticut #ignewengland #madisonct #shoreline_ct #newenglandphotography #naturalconnecticut #scenesofct #newenglandwithlove #discoverthenight

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” —Maya Angelou

Hands down, my personal favorite sunrise photo. As I stood there waiting, I saw the clouds and thought this wouldn’t be a good show. How wrong I was! As the sun finally peeked above the horizon, the clouds lit up the sky in a kaleidoscope of swirling colors. The view changed by the second, and I must have held my breath for a good 30 seconds without realizing it. At one point, I had tears streaming down my face as I took in the abject beauty of the scene. There was an elderly man sitting next to me who started chuckling and said, “It’s just a sunrise, son.” 🙄 Well, sir, this one took my breath away.

#sunrise_and_sunsets #sunsets_captures #landscape #landscapephotography #sunrisephotography #goodmorning #sunsetphotography #connecticutphotographer #connecticut_igers #localconnecticut #ctviews #visitct #raw_newengland #bestofthenutmegstate #bestofconnecticut #ignewengland #madisonct #shoreline_ct #newenglandphotography #naturalconnecticut #scenesofct #newenglandwithlove #discoverthenight
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❓ Das ist eine sehr interessante Frage, und die Antworten sind ungleich interessanter!

Bei meinem letzten nächtlichen Aufenthalt draußen – natürlich mal wieder um Fotos zu machen – habe ich bewusst auf meine Gefühlslage geachtet. Nachdem die Fototechnik eingerichtet war und ihre Arbeit verrichtete, stand ich da im Dunklen. 

Ich fühlte, wie sich Gänsehaut am Körper bildete – nicht nur der Kühle wegen. Hörte das Rascheln und Knacken rund um mich und sah in so einige tierische Augenpaare – zuweilen rot leuchtend in der Reflexion meiner Rotlicht-Stirnlampe.

Ich will nicht sagen, dass ich Angst hatte, aber ich fühlte mich so „on the edge“. Alle Sinne angespannt – lauschend, fühlend - noch nicht in der Angst aber diese kurz vor mir, oder gar hinter mir!?

Der Mensch ist ein tagaktives Tier, die Nacht im Freien ist nicht sein natürliches Biotop. Das Gegenteil von Angst ist Sicherheit. Diese versucht sich der Mensch – immer schneller und heller – mit Licht in der Nacht zu schaffen. Einer der Gründe, warum es Lichtverschmutzung gibt.

☮Aber wir können und dürfen das Vertrauen in uns und unsere Sinne, auch bei Nacht, wieder zurückgewinnen und uns die Freiheit schaffen, uns auch nächtens draußen in dunkler Natur zu bewegen, ohne angstvoll und unsicher zu sein!☮

 #Lightpollution #againstlightpollution #Lichtverschmutzung #gegenlichtverschmutzung #lichtverschmutzungistdoof #patendernacht #gemeinsamfürdieumwelt #darkskies #darkskies4all #underonesky #globeatnight #discoverthenight #protectthenight #lovedarkskies #turnyourlightsoff #starvingfordarkness #rettetdienacht #sterneschauen #nachthaltig #mirgehteinlichtaus #austria

❓ Das ist eine sehr interessante Frage, und die Antworten sind ungleich interessanter!

Bei meinem letzten nächtlichen Aufenthalt draußen – natürlich mal wieder um Fotos zu machen – habe ich bewusst auf meine Gefühlslage geachtet. Nachdem die Fototechnik eingerichtet war und ihre Arbeit verrichtete, stand ich da im Dunklen.

Ich fühlte, wie sich Gänsehaut am Körper bildete – nicht nur der Kühle wegen. Hörte das Rascheln und Knacken rund um mich und sah in so einige tierische Augenpaare – zuweilen rot leuchtend in der Reflexion meiner Rotlicht-Stirnlampe.

Ich will nicht sagen, dass ich Angst hatte, aber ich fühlte mich so „on the edge“. Alle Sinne angespannt – lauschend, fühlend - noch nicht in der Angst aber diese kurz vor mir, oder gar hinter mir!?

Der Mensch ist ein tagaktives Tier, die Nacht im Freien ist nicht sein natürliches Biotop. Das Gegenteil von Angst ist Sicherheit. Diese versucht sich der Mensch – immer schneller und heller – mit Licht in der Nacht zu schaffen. Einer der Gründe, warum es Lichtverschmutzung gibt.

☮Aber wir können und dürfen das Vertrauen in uns und unsere Sinne, auch bei Nacht, wieder zurückgewinnen und uns die Freiheit schaffen, uns auch nächtens draußen in dunkler Natur zu bewegen, ohne angstvoll und unsicher zu sein!☮

 #Lightpollution #againstlightpollution #Lichtverschmutzung #gegenlichtverschmutzung #lichtverschmutzungistdoof #patendernacht #gemeinsamfürdieumwelt #darkskies #darkskies4all #underonesky #globeatnight #discoverthenight #protectthenight #lovedarkskies #turnyourlightsoff #starvingfordarkness #rettetdienacht #sterneschauen #nachthaltig #mirgehteinlichtaus #austria
...

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❤️ 🌌 Reddish Sky 🌌❤️
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📸  Shot by : shelbydiamondstar 📸

Place : Copper Harbor, Michigan 📍

📸  Gear : nikonusa z6 (astro-modded by spencerscamera ) + Nikkor 20mm 1.8s +
 skywatcherusa staradventurer + slikusa tripod. 📸
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For More Exciting Astro Photos & Video

🔶 Follow Our Profile : clicksastrophotography🔶

🔶Use our Hashtag : #astroworldphotos🔶

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#astrophoto #astrophotography #night #milkyway #astro #nightphotography #nightsky #milkywaychasers #universe #nightscape
#milkywaygalaxy #nightsky #puremichigan #auroraborealis #aurora #aurorahunters #michigan #discovertheworld #discoverthenight #darksky
#astrophotography #awesome_earthpix #nightphotography #milliondollarvisuals #milkywaychasers #nightscaper #darkskyweek
#nightsky #planet_earth_shots

❤️ 🌌 Reddish Sky 🌌❤️
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📸 Shot by : shelbydiamondstar 📸

Place : Copper Harbor, Michigan 📍

📸 Gear : nikonusa z6 (astro-modded by spencerscamera ) + Nikkor 20mm 1.8s +
skywatcherusa staradventurer + slikusa tripod. 📸
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For More Exciting Astro Photos & Video

🔶 Follow Our Profile : clicksastrophotography🔶

🔶Use our Hashtag : #astroworldphotos🔶

🔻
🔻
🔻
🔻
🔻
🔻
🔻
🔻
🔻
🔻
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#astrophoto #astrophotography #night #milkyway #astro #nightphotography #nightsky #milkywaychasers #universe #nightscape
#milkywaygalaxy #nightsky #puremichigan #auroraborealis #aurora #aurorahunters #michigan #discovertheworld #discoverthenight #darksky
#astrophotography #awesome_earthpix #nightphotography #milliondollarvisuals #milkywaychasers #nightscaper #darkskyweek
#nightsky #planet_earth_shots
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It's hard to believe this is what shines above us when we're resting our eyeballs ✨ 😴 

nikonusa D850
5 shot pano
20 sec & f/2.8
14 mm
ISO 8000

#milkyway #milkywaychasers #astrophotography #astro #star #stargazing #colorado #visitcolorado #planets #galaxy #darkskyweek #nature #nikon #teamnikon #natgeo #natgeoyourshot #yourshotphotographer #yourshotphotography #travel #landscapephotography #landscapelovers #nightphotography #coloradowild #visitsummitcounty #lovelandpass

It's hard to believe this is what shines above us when we're resting our eyeballs ✨ 😴

nikonusa D850
5 shot pano
20 sec & f/2.8
14 mm
ISO 8000

#milkyway #milkywaychasers #astrophotography #astro #star #stargazing #colorado #visitcolorado #planets #galaxy #darkskyweek #nature #nikon #teamnikon #natgeo #natgeoyourshot #yourshotphotographer #yourshotphotography #travel #landscapephotography #landscapelovers #nightphotography #coloradowild #visitsummitcounty #lovelandpass
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It's interesting to see how much negativity has been culturally built around nighttime and the dark. We are taught to fear darkness from such a young age, and so much of the media we consume associates darkness with evil, in subtle and explicit ways. But darkness isn’t good or bad, it’s just dark. It’s completely natural and necessary for ecological health. It also has the potential to be incredibly beautiful 🌌

It's interesting to see how much negativity has been culturally built around nighttime and the dark. We are taught to fear darkness from such a young age, and so much of the media we consume associates darkness with evil, in subtle and explicit ways. But darkness isn’t good or bad, it’s just dark. It’s completely natural and necessary for ecological health. It also has the potential to be incredibly beautiful 🌌 ...

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They say eclipse chasing can be addictive. I can see why. I arrived on location at 4:30am and, within minutes, a swarm of fellow photographers arrived to set up gear and find the perfect location. This is the view from Jacob’s Beach as the sun rose over Guilford’s “Little Motif.”

#sunrise_and_sunsets #sunsets_captures #landscape #landscapephotography #sunrisephotography #goodmorning #sunsetphotography #connecticutphotographer #connecticut_igers #localconnecticut #ctviews #visitct #raw_newengland #bestofthenutmegstate #bestofconnecticut #ignewengland #madisonct #shoreline_ct #newenglandphotography #naturalconnecticut #eclipse #juneeclipse2021 #solareclipse #scenesofct #newenglandwithlove #discoverthenight

They say eclipse chasing can be addictive. I can see why. I arrived on location at 4:30am and, within minutes, a swarm of fellow photographers arrived to set up gear and find the perfect location. This is the view from Jacob’s Beach as the sun rose over Guilford’s “Little Motif.”

#sunrise_and_sunsets #sunsets_captures #landscape #landscapephotography #sunrisephotography #goodmorning #sunsetphotography #connecticutphotographer #connecticut_igers #localconnecticut #ctviews #visitct #raw_newengland #bestofthenutmegstate #bestofconnecticut #ignewengland #madisonct #shoreline_ct #newenglandphotography #naturalconnecticut #eclipse #juneeclipse2021 #solareclipse #scenesofct #newenglandwithlove #discoverthenight
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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.