National Dark-Sky Week

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
National Dark-Sky Week (NDSW)
Status Active
Genre Astronomy-related events and competitions
Frequency Week of the new moon in April
Location(s) Worldwide
Inaugurated 2003
Founder Jennifer Barlow
Most recent 2013

National Dark-Sky Week (NDSW), held during the week of the new moon in April,[1] 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 Jennifer Barlow of Midlothian, Virginia, and its popularity and participation increases every year.[citation needed] It has been endorsed by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), the American Astronomical Society (AAS), the Astronomical League, and Sky & Telescope (S&T).[2]


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."[2]

Event dates[edit]

Timeline of Dark Sky Week events
Sr. Year Week New Moon Notes Reference
1 2003 01 April 2003 UTC
2 2004 19 April 2004 UTC
3 2005 08 April 2005 UTC
4 2006 27 April 2006 UTC
5 2007 17 April 2007 UTC
6 2008 06 April 2008 UTC In 2008, the organizers coordinated the week with Earth Hour. [1]
7 2009 April 20 - 26, 2009 25 April 2009 UTC International Year of Astronomy (IYA 2009)
8 2010 April 4 - 10, 2010 13-14 April 2010 UTC [3][4]
9 2011 03 April 2011 UTC
10 2012 21 April 2012 UTC
11 2013 10 April 2013 UTC
12 2014 April 20-26, 2014 29 April 2014 UTC [5]
13 2015 18 April 2015 UTC
  indicates upcoming event

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "What Is National Dark Sky Week?". Wise Geek. Conjecture Corporation. Retrieved 25 December 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Bobra, Monica. "Jennifer Barlow: Dark-sky Devotee". Sky & Telescope. Sky Publishing of New Track Media. 
  3. ^ "International Dark Sky Week". Astronomers Without Borders. AWB. Retrieved 25 December 2013. 
  4. ^ "How to participate in International Dark-Sky Week". Dark Skies Awareness. Retrieved 25 December 2013. 
  5. ^ "International Dark Sky Week April 20-26, 2014". Dark Sky. IDA. Retrieved 25 December 2013. 

External links[edit]