Explore Community Advocacy for the Night Sky with the IDSW 2023 Wrap-Up

June 1, 2023

We at DarkSky International want to express our sincerest thank you and congratulations to night sky advocates around the world for making International Dark Sky Week 2023 a resounding success! None of this could have happened without you doing the most to bring education and enjoyment of our night sky to your communities. We want to share with you all of the highlights and success stories from the week including press coverage and media pieces, the proclamations initiatives, events, and what we can do to continue carrying out our mission of reducing light pollution in the world. Our advocates put so much time and effort into being a part of, so we want to share some of their success here!

Our Reach

This year we reached over 1 billion people!!! The top publications this year included Yahoo! in Germany, Singapore, Malaysia, UK & Ireland, and USA as well as MSN India, South Africa, UK, and Ireland, Medium, GoPro on YouTube, Forbes, Dallas Morning News, Indian Express, Ansa (Italy), The Hindu, and ABC. 

Take a look at our global mentions! We had 867 total mentions globally.
  • 149 TV
  • 83 radio
  • 533 print + online
  • As of April 22 estimated reach of 822 million
  • At least 32 mentions specifically about proclamations being issued without additional coverage for Dark Sky Week, hitting about 394,000 people.

Additionally, many of our advocates and chapters created stunning events that intrigued their local news networks. Click the links below to see what news outlets around the world have to say about the dark sky movement:

What We Did

Events

We had around 100 events hosted world wide from 23 countries! From Night-Sky Photography Workshops to Viewing Events, hosting events in your homes was instrumental in continuing to bring awareness to our movement and bringing people together to celebrate dark skies. We have loved hearing from you about how your event went, so thank you for sharing details and photos with us!

We want to highlight some events hosted around the world:

Sideralis Officina delle Stelle hosted a total of 8 events held in the South Western Italian Alps. Among their events were guided night sky walks and educational events for children. Conventions were held in schools, reaching 400 students and 150 community members. The Sideralis Officina delle Stelle received positive feedback from the community about their informative approach to light pollution mitigation.

In Cambará do Sul, Brazil, Egon Filter educated 160 children about light pollution. Filter used wide angle nightscape photos to show kids how the sky looks with and without light pollution. Thank you, Egon Filter, for teaching and nurturing young minds about the dark sky movement!

IDA Kenya hosted a screening of Losing the Dark, followed by a one-hour program about light pollution issues in Kenya and abroad. Being their first event, they were thrilled to received 11 new memberships at the event and almost reach full capacity in the venue.

More Event Highlights

Boibor Valley in Pakistan hosted Stargazing in the Heart of Pakistan, an event with workshops, guided hiking, and stargazing. Workshops provided information on reducing light pollution via direct lighting and conserving energy. The stargazing and guided night hike allowed attendees to experience and appreciate the night sky. A peaceful and serene setting surrounded the participants as they identified constellations and learned about planets. Participants did not only learn about the importance of the night sky, but how it can foster connections. A campfire was lit, while attendees told stories or participated in an evening of folk music and dancing. We thank Zubair Ullah and the event coordinators for creating a culturally rich event that engaged and informed its audience.

DarkSky Mayo in Ireland hosted Dánta in the Dark to end their International Dark Sky Week festivities. Hosted in Ballycroy Visitor Centre at Wild Nephin National Park, this event features writers and reciters inspired by the wonders and beauty of darkness. Some works included “Stardust” by Irish President, Michael D. Higgins and Bob Mizon’s “Ballycroy of Stars.” Bob Mizon was a member of the UK Dark Skies Commission. Unfortunately, Mizon passed away unexpectedly. To further honor Mizon’s memory, the beloved community member’s work was printed in the pamphlets of each program. You can read our blog post about Bob Mizon here.

Astronite MX hosted many events in their hometown of Querétaro, México. By engaging the general public in an observation event, Astronite MX raised awareness of light pollution and the need for dark sky activism in Querétaro. The event highlighted the beautiful night sky of Joya-La Barreta, which is in the process of becoming Mexico’s first Dark Sky Certified park. You can view their video here

Other fantastic events included:
  • Organized by Erdemli Bahar, “Let’s Paint Dark Skies” inspired children by teaching them the importance of the night sky and painting them. At the end of the night, the paintings are presented as an exhibition in Ankara Turkey.
  • Live from the countryside of China, world-renowned astrophotographer Jeff Dai streamed the Lyrid Meteor Shower for 5,000,000 people around the world to enjoy.
  • At “Interpretation of the Night Sky,” Steven Moore presented methods, objectives, and techniques to the High Desert Museum in hopes of sharing the natural sky with visitors
  • The Skygazers Astronomy Club in Arizona conducted a star party at park for the Tucson & Saddlebrooke communities to celebrate the night sky. 
  • With 1000 people in attendance, the Astronomical Society Kumova Slama promoted local dark sky parks and presented ways that the public can help fight light pollution. They were part of the 2023 10 Days of Astronomy in Croatia.
  • John Goldsmith, accomplished astrophotographer and founder of Celestial Visions Australia, hosted “Visions of the Cosmos,” an astrophotography exhibition that features shots from all over Western Australia.
  • In San Antonio de los Cobres, Argentina, Beatriz Garcia led a lecture on light pollution for educators. The event included a series of hands-on-activities for educators to see the effects of light pollution.
  • Astroturismo México hosted many events that reflected on sustainable tourism and admired the dark skies. They welcomed people to destinations in México such as Pachuca, Hildalgo, Tasdehe Ecotourism Park, and many others. 

Proclamations

We ended with 99 proclamations  from across the globe, including Argentina, Australia, Canada, Italy, Mexico, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Reservation Tribal Council in Minnesota. All of these proclamations were instrumental in continuing to bring awareness to our movement and starting the conversation with your local leaders on bringing positive change for dark skies. We applaud your hard work and are so proud of your efforts!

More information available here

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