This week Michigan will celebrate “International Dark Sky Week”. This means that several of the parks in the area will remain opened overnight to allow stargazers the possibility of looking at their favorite stars without any source of light pollution nearby.
But this is not the first time that the people in Michigan are given the opportunity to celebrate “International Dark Sky Week.” The event was created back in 2003 by Jennifer Barlow, a student at the Michigan University.
According to what Barlow wrote on the official website of the event, she created the “International Dark Sky Week” so that people could have the opportunity of enjoying the wonders present in the night sky without the harmful effects of light pollution.
Barlow continues to say that “the Universe is our view into our past and our vision into the future … I want to preserve its wonder.”
Apart from offering the people of Michigan the opportunity of gazing at a light-pollution-free sky, the “International Dark Sky Week” is also meant to bring awareness to the importance of minimizing light pollution. The organizers also offer solutions in that perspective.
Moreover, people are not only asked to celebrate “International Dark Sky Week” because they can bask in the beauty of the night sky. But also to be reminded of the dangerous effects that light pollution has on our bodies.
Previous studies have shown that the human organism is accustomed to the natural cycle of light and darkness. Our bodies are used to the small amount of light emitted by the moon and the stars at night.
By keeping lights on, and by surrounding ourselves with unnecessary artificial light during the evening, we interrupt our natural body processes. Our general health and our sleep are being affected by light pollution and the organizers of “International Dark Sky Week” are trying to point that out.
If you live in Michigan, and if you want to celebrate “International Dark Sky Week” then all you have to do is locate one of the parks that have adapted their visiting hours for the special occasion.
As a bonus, the “Besser Museum” and “The Friends of Rockport” will be in charge of an educational program that will offer valuable information about the night sky to all willing attendees.
All you have to do is grab a blanket and head out to the park. And if you want to go prepared, you can always check out the most interesting things on the sky this week.
Image source: Flickr