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Happy International Dark Sky Week!

Credit: CPW

Look up and breathe in the cosmos.

Here’s a question for you: when was the last time you looked up at night to search for constellations? If you’re an astronomy buff and/or own a telescope, probably pretty regularly, but for most average people, the stars aren’t really on their minds. It’s not, however, because the stars aren’t interesting. The view of the night sky on a truly clear night is something you’ll remember for the rest of your life. The problem is that, since artificial light and human life go hand-in-hand these days, it’s virtually impossible to get a clear view of the stars from a populated area. 99% of all humans experience light pollution, and that’s just a shame. That’s why the International Dark-Sky Association wants to remind us of what we’re missing with International Dark Sky Week.

During International Dark Sky Week, notable astronomers will give presentations about humanity’s natural connection with the night sky, and what we’re missing out on by subjecting ourselves to constant light pollution.

Credit: International Dark-Sky Association

“Our emotional response to the night sky, to its beauty, to its apparent order, although that’s an accident of where we happen to be in the cosmos — those things to which our brains are responding are in fact extraordinarily pleasurable, and you really don’t want people to miss it,” Griffith Observatory director E.C. Krupp said. “We can see that that engagement with the sky has been one of the things that has propelled our inquiries about everything and in fact our mastery of technologies and our ability to modify our behavior.”

If you’re interested, check out the International Dark-Sky Association’s website. They’ll be running presentations on their YouTube channel all week, and they also have an activity center where you can share your view of the night sky with other people around the world and get an estimate of how much light your home is generating.