International Dark Sky Week to Illuminate Early April

Specifically, the week of April 5-12. Look up, after sundown, and savor the spectacular reaches of space.

Eric Lowenbach

What to Know

  • April 5-12, 2021
  • The International Dark Sky Association has ways for people at home to engage and participate
  • Sign up for updates and to learn about future happenings

CALLING THE NIGHT SKY "FRIEND"... might seem to be a bit of a poetic stretch, the sort of thing you might say in a sonnet or ethereal ode to astronomy. But consider that it returns each day, without us asking it to do so, and it always brings some memorable gifts, from shining full moons to all sorts of shimmering constellations. If you've found yourself connecting with the cosmos more in recent months, there are ways to deepen that fanciful friendship via the goings-on helmed by a galactic-minded group and its annual observance.

THAT YEARLY CELEBRATION? It's International Dark Sky Week, which is helmed by the International Dark Sky Association. The springtime happening, which helps to "... raise awareness about light pollution's many negative effects," encourages the public to value those moments, places, and situations where the after-sundown sky is especially easy to behold. Eager to behold it from a place that is especially powerful? There are a number of destinations around the Golden State where views of the night sky are especially glittery, at all times of the year, including Borrego Springs, an official International Dark Sky Community.

APRIL 5-12... are the 2021 International Dark Sky Week dates, but even if you can't get to the Anza Borrego Desert State Park community, or Death Valley National Park, or Joshua Tree National Park, or another location that sports a pretty post-sunset sky, you can still learn more about what the week's important mission now. Something to watch for? Some of California's national parks, including Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks and Lassen Volcanic National Park, host their own Dark Sky Festivals. Those parties were virtual in 2020, but do keep an eye on your favorite national parks for in-person events to come.

Pictured: Red Rock Canyon in California

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