Dark Skies Awareness LogoGAM Dark Skies Awareness Programs

The growing loss of dark night skies for much of the world's population is a serious issue. And it's not just astronomical research that suffers. Light pollution affects human health, ecology, safety, security, economics, and energy conservation. According to the United Nations, around 3.3 billion people - over half of the world's population - live in cities. Many have never seen the Milky Way because of light pollution where they live.

GAM Dark Skies Awareness programs are intended to raise awareness of the importance of preserving our night skies. Join in the programs listed below, check out our Dark Skies Poetry, and follow the Dark Skies Awareness Blog, which ran through the whole duration of GAM2014

To encourage others to take part in these events we suggested people organise a Flashmob for Science. This is where a group of people gather together at the same place and time to perform citizen science observations. For pointers on organising your own Flashmob for Science read these instructions.

We also encouraged everyone to share their experiences with the world on Facebook or the Flickr group and Tweet using #GAM2014 (@gam_awb).

POSTPONED - new date TBD Join us for this exciting hangout as we discuss the cultural importance of the night sky, what the loss of it means to us, and the health effects of light pollution. The panel includes both scientists and artists who are working to raise awareness of these issues. Joining us on this hangout will be Connie Walker from Globe at Night and the National Optical Astronomy Observatory , Mario Motta and Scott Kardel from the International Dark-Skiy Association , Erika Blumenfeld from the Sky Scrolls project, and Daniela De Paulis from OPTICKS . Join us LIVE...

March 10 thru April 22 Enter the 5th International Earth and Sky Photo Contest on Dark Skies Importance. There will be up to 10 winners over two categories with the top prize usually a telescope. This is the 5th year the contest has run internationally and we are expecting it to be bigger than ever! Coordinated by The World At Night (TWAN), in conjunction with GAM 2014 and the National Optical Astronomy Observatory , the contest is open and free to anyone of any age, anywhere around the world. Submissions accepted from March 10 until April 24. The winners will...

20- 26 April Celebrate the stars! Created in 2003 by high-school student Jennifer Barlow, International Dark Sky Week (IDSW) has grown to become a worldwide event and a key component of Global Astronomy Month. The goals of IDSW are to appreciate the beauty of the night sky and to raise awareness of how poor-quality lighting creates light pollution.

20 to 29 April Join the Worldwide Globe at Night 2014 Campaign What would it be like without stars at night? What would we lose? Starry night skies have given us poetry, art, music and the wonder to explore. A bright night sky affects energy consumption, health, and wildlife. The Globe at Night program is an international citizen-science campaign to raise public awareness of the impact of light pollution by inviting citizen scientists to measure their night-sky brightness and submit their observations from a computer or smart phone. Students and scientists use the data to monitor levels of brightness or...