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International Dark Sky Week 2024: Stories and Highlights

Banner image of proclamations from IDSW 24

International Dark Sky Week 2024 (IDSW) was a tremendous success! From the dozens of news articles published in major publications to the 100+ states, towns, and communities worldwide that passed proclamations supporting the night, the dark sky movement has never been as strong.

While light pollution continues to grow, the passion demonstrated during International Dark Sky Week inspires us to keep going! With more awareness, advocacy, and action, we can change the alarming trends of light pollution and reclaim the night. 

Let’s take a look at some of the great stories that came out of IDSW 2024!

Advocates in Monroe County, Florida, receiving a DarkSky proclamation.

1. DarkSky Advocates and members passed 117 proclamations!

During this year’s International Dark Sky Week, DarkSky Advocates secured 117 accepted proclamations from cities and municipalities worldwide. These proclamations are official declarations by local governments, endorsing our mission to promote dark sky preservation and education. They highlight the growing recognition of the importance of protecting our natural nighttime environments and the widespread support for our initiatives. With at least 217 proclamations submitted, our advocates’ efforts underscore the global momentum behind our cause.

One significant achievement during the week was our collaboration with local schools. Advocates organized stargazing events and workshops, educating students about astronomy and light pollution mitigation. Additionally, our advocates partnered with community organizations to retrofit outdoor lighting, reducing light pollution and preserving our night landscapes.

Pledge to protect the night! Take the pledge today!

2. Nearly 6,000 people pledged to protect the night.

To introduce more people to the dark sky movement, DarkSky International created a pledge for members and supporters to share with friends and family. Through this peer-to-peer email and social media campaign, nearly 6,000 people signed the pledge to protect the night! 

Did you take the pledge? If not, it’s not too late. Take the pledge today!

“I pledge to protect the night by following the Five Principles for Responsible Outdoor Lighting, using lights only when and where I need them, and learning more about the impacts of artificial light on wildlife, habitats, and my community.”

Students at Shenzhen Middle School sign the DarkSky pledge.
Students at Shenzhen Middle School sign the DarkSky pledge.

3. Hundreds of dark sky events were held around the world.

Hundreds of dark sky events were held around the world to build awareness about light pollution and celebrate the importance of nighttime environments. From star parties in national parks to backyard cocktail parties under dark sky-friendly lighting, we loved seeing the pictures posted by our supporters shared on social media! (#discoverthenight)

We were particularly excited by the event hosted by Shenzhen Middle School in the Guangdong Province of China! The Darksky Guardians Association hosted engaging activities and interactive sessions at two campuses, introducing elementary and middle school students to the wonders of astronomy, the importance of preserving the night sky, and the success of the Shenzhen Xichong International Dark Sky Community. The event aimed to inspire the next generation of astronomers and dark sky advocates. More than 200 elementary and 300 middle school students participated and took the DarkSky pledge to protect the night!

Cathy Handzel, Chapter President of DarkSky San Diego County, speaks with FOX 5.

4. Millions of people were reached through news stories and articles.

DarkSky kept track of news articles, posts, and broadcasts that celebrated International Dark Sky Week! We greatly appreciate all the hard work by our members and Advocates for helping to share dark sky messaging via local, national, and global media channels resulting in millions of people being reached!

Check out this incredible news broadcast organized and excellently executed by the DarkSky San Diego County!

Total Solar Eclipse 2024 by Natasha Chortos

5. A total solar eclipse!

And, of course, the highlight of this year’s International DarkSky Week was the total solar eclipse! Thank you, sun and moon, for joining in the celebration and providing those of us in Mexico, Canada, and the United States with a few extra moments of darkness. 

In conclusion, we want to extend a heartfelt thank you to our incredible community of supporters, members, Advocates, DarkSky Groups, and Places! Together we turned awareness into action, helping to protect the night around the world. Thank you!