Next week (19th -26th April 2020) is International Dark Sky Week 2020. This is an annual celebration of the night sky. This year, due to coronavirus the International Dark Sky Week 2020 will take place online. There will still be plenty of fantastic events you can attend virtually. I’ve picked one event per day that I think might be interesting. You can find the full schedule at https://idsw.darksky.org/schedule/. Most of the events will be broadcast on on the International Dark Sky Associations YouTube channel. Closer to home, Mayo Dark Skies are hosting online events to mark the week and the details can be found on their facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/mayodarkskies
All times below are Irish summer time but if you look at the website the times are in PDT which is 8 hours behind.
Sunday 19th April
10 pm – Crash Course: Amateur Astronomy
with Tracie Beuden -Learn the basics of navigating the night sky from your own space.
Monday 20th April
5pm – The Role of Art in Conservation
with Dr. Tyler Nordgren. – Art is at the heart of the U.S. National Parks. A new generation of night sky photography and “See the Milky Way” travel posters have played a significant part in the realization that ‘Half the Park is After Dark.”
Tuesday 21st April
7pm- Childhood and the Night – with live Q & A
with Dr. Richard Louv – Dr. Louv, the author of Last Child in the Woods, will discuss the importance of the natural night sky to a child’s development. Tune in to @idadarksky on Facebook or YouTube to watch live. Submit questions using hashtag #IDSW2020.
Wednesday 22nd April
7pm – Human Lighting Impact on the Animal World
with Dr. Travis Longcore – Join the presentation for the latest research and practical solutions.
Thursday 23rd April
10pm – Telling Sky Legends
with Vivian White – If you’re familiar with the Greek constellations, explore how other civilizations have envisioned the sky. And if you’re a beginner to stargazing, discover them all! Learn how to teach about sky legends in ways respectful to everyone, whether it’s a commonly told story or a glimpse into a belief system that is sacred to a culture. Included is an activity to create your own Sky Story with a constellation visible in the sky this season.
Friday 24th April
5pm – A Pilot’s View of the Night Sky
with Ulrich Beinert. – Having always been drawn to the dark, Ulrich documents the increasing light pollution from above with a digital camera, showing the beautifully intricate but shockingly wasteful patterns of human civilization as they light up the dark.
Saturday 25th April
6pm – Astrophotography 101
with Bettymaya Foott – Astrophotography for beginners! Any basic camera can capture night sky images. Come learn how you too can take pictures of the night sky with your basic DSLR camera setup.
Sunday 26th April
11pm – The Lost Constellations
with John Barentine – The lost constellations are important today because they teach us how humans tried to impose a sense of order and structure on the night sky. They may also have something to tell us about the night sky of the future. John will speak about a different lost constellation every day during IDSW.