International Dark Sky Week 2020 starts Sunday — here's how to celebrate online

Astrophotographer Miguel Claro took the image from São Miguel Island in the Azores on April 5, 2014.
Astrophotographer Miguel Claro took the image from São Miguel Island in the Azores on April 5, 2014. (Image credit: Miguel Claro/

Celebrate International Dark Sky Week from anywhere, with sessions streaming online starting Sunday (April 19).

The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA)'s annual event will be held between April 19 and 26. The full schedule is available here

Presentations will be available for free online on both YouTube and Facebook. You can also discuss on social media using the hashtags #lookuptogether and #IDSW2020. 

Related: The brightest planets in April's night sky: How to see them (and when)

Some of the highlights from this year's IDA sessions include presentations spanning millennia of human interactions with the sky, including cultures from New Zealand to Guatemala and technologies from navigation to photography. Many of the talks are appropriate and exciting for both adults and children.

"Right now, families around the globe find themselves spending many hours at home together," Ruskin Hartley, IDA's executive director, said in a statement. "It's a perfect time to reconnect with the night sky — and International Dark-Sky Week provides a portal for that experience."

The IDA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and protecting the sky and the nighttime environment, especially by encouraging the use of outdoor lighting that does not scatter into the sky. This story from 2018 shows how you can reduce light pollution.

You can follow updates for International Dark Sky Week on the official website

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Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: