Get Out at Night
The most important thing you can do to protect the night is to get out after sunset and learn about it.
For this INTERNATIONAL DARK SKY WEEK we encourage you to get outside at night! Whether it's going out for a night hike in a nearby International Dark Sky Park, or simply sitting on the back porch with friends with the lights out, take time to get to know your community and environment at night. Wherever you go... be sure to post about it (add the hashtag #darkskyweek)!
Here are some easy activities to get you started!
1. Get out for sunset and stick around a little longer.
Did you know there are three twilights? Civil twilight, nautical twilight, and astronomical twilight. After the sun sinks below the horizon, notice how the colors change in the sky as the twilights blend into one another. Learn about the three twilights.
Do you notice how your ability to see colors changes? While your ability to see colors decreases, you may notice your ability to see in the dark increases. Check out this suggested activity from Scientific American, try it out as you discover the night.
2. Look to the stars.
As the stars begin to shine, count how many stars you can see. Can you find any constellations? There are a number of apps available at your fingertips to help you navigate the sky. Our favorite is [link to come].
3. Take your backyard stargazing to the next level.
Beginning on 31 March 2024, and running for ten nights, the Globe at Night campaign asks participants to look up at the night sky, find the bright constellation Leo (N Hemisphere) or Crux (S Hemisphere) and then submit an observation as to which of a set of star maps most closely matches what they see. Measurements can be submitted on the report page, accessible through a computer or smartphone.
Scientists use these observations to measure and monitor how light pollution changes globally.
4. Go on a night hike.
Going for a night hike is one of the best ways to discover the nighttime environment. Check out REI's tips and tricks for going out on a successful post-sunset excursion.
5. Night cap cocktail (or mocktail) hour with friends.
INTERNATIONAL DARK SKY WEEK is all about getting out to learn about the night. This can be as simple as sitting outside with friends and family to enjoy the sounds, temperature, and sights of the nighttime environment.
We are holding an online cocktail contest and virtual cocktail hour! Learn more by visiting the event page: DarkSky Cocktail Hour.
Whatever you do, don't forget to share it with the DarkSky community!
Snap a picture, and post it! Be sure to use the hashtag #DarkSkyWeek to be featured on this site.