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Celebrate the Night Sky

Family Fun for International Dark Sky Week, April 2-8

With a warm, clear night forecast for tonight, it's a perfect evening to celebrate International Dark Sky Week (IDSW) in Lions Bay.

IDSW is intended as a worldwide celebration to build awareness about the harmful effects of light pollution and the importance of the global nighttime environment. Light pollution not only obscures the night sky, but can negatively affect a variety of different elements of the natural world, including migratory birds, pollinators, sea turtles, and mammals, including humans.

International Dark Sky Week is always held during the week of the new moon in April, setting the stage for the clearest possible viewing of the night sky. This year, it falls from April 2-8. While eyes will be gazing skyward (particularly on the eastern side of the continent) on Monday for the anticipated solar eclipse, tonight is a perfect chance to view the heavens from our little piece of mountainside.

Star-spotting is a fun activity at any time, but a this week, a number of organizations are highlighting ways to celebrate the night sky.

Globe at Night is directing volunteers to find the constellation Leo in their latest star-hunting campaign. This program is an international citizen-science group effort to increase awareness of the impact of light pollution.

For a lower-tech experience, you can participate in a scavenger hunt with family and friends. See how many items you can find on the IDSW card tonight. If you succeed, they'll even send you some stickers if you fill out their form.

David Zhang's photo, above, is comprised of 120 separate shots centred on Polaris, the North Star, and illustrates the rotation of the earth. (Sony A7R3 with Zeiss Batis 2.8/18 at 18mm, f2.8, iso3200, 30s, 120 frames stacked into star trails).

How will you celebrate the night sky? Leave your comments below, or email us at 

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Thank you Karen! I don't know how you find the time to cover so many interesting topics to improve our education.

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