This week, April  2-8, 2024, is International Dark Sky Week, a reminder of the importance of darkness for nocturnal wildlife, human health, and the glorious gift of a star-studded sky.  Light pollution — overly bright and unnecessary outdoor lighting — creates unsafe glare and “sky glow” that interferes with natural light cycles needed by plants and animals and results in emissions from excess energy use.

Governor Healey has called attention to this issue with a Proclamation.

All of us can take simple steps to help conserve natural darkness. Learn about Responsible Outdoor Lighting from  the organization DarkSky International.  Take the Dark Sky Pledge to use outdoor lighting responsibly and to inform yourself about the negative effects of light pollution.

Want to do something local? Attend the first “Needham NightWalk” with local DarkSky Advocate Anne Hayek on Sunday, April 7. Participants will meet at 7:45 p.m. The hour-long event will begin at 8 p.m. Please contact Anne to sign up.

Whether the skies are clear or cloudy, participants will take a walk around in the twilight into night to learn about the Five Principles of Responsible Outdoor Lighting by observing lighting in residential and nearby commercial areas and streetscapes. If the skies are clear, Anne will show how to make observations of the constellation Leo to report sky quality for the Globe at Night science campaign. Please contact Anne Hayek if you have questions.

Join the Needham NightWalk and Celebrate International Dark Sky Week

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