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The International Astronomical Union Celebrates

its 100th Anniversary with the Dark Skies for All Project


Astro-photographers, local teachers, astronomers and staff from the La Palma Office of Tourism explore the Quality Lighting Teaching Kit activities at the Starlight, Beyond Light Pollution workshop on the Canary Islands.

Credit: Valentin Grigore (President of the Romanian Society for Meteors and Astronomy)

In 2019, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) is celebrating its 100th anniversary. To commemorate this milestone, IAU100 is organising a year-long celebration to increase awareness of a century of astronomical discoveries as well as to support and improve the use of astronomy as a tool for education, development and diplomacy under the central theme "Under One Sky". The centennial celebrations will stimulate worldwide interest in astronomy and science and will reach out to the global astronomical community, national science organisations, societies, policy-makers, students, families and the general public. The IAU100 activities will take place at global and regional levels, and especially at the national and local levels.

One of the IAU100 Global projects, the Dark Skies for All initiative, aims to raise awareness of the preservation of quiet and dark skies. Astronomy represents a rich and significant aspect of cultural and natural heritage and the project will stress the importance of preserving it and passing it on to future generations. The Dark Skies for All project also encourages the organization of worldwide activities around the UNESCO International Day of Light on 16 May 2019.


The project has recently announced its call for the IAU100 Dark Skies Ambassadors, a program that invites keen enthusiasts worldwide to be dark sky advocates and to spread the word of the concern of light pollution. Dark Skies Ambassadors help organise and disseminate events through their networks, while encouraging others to participate. IAU100 is also inviting educators and dark skies advocates to contribute and share their dark skies resources with the resources portal.


For individuals and organisations interested in applying to receive the “Turn on the Night” Dark Skies kit, the deadline is 1 March 2019. The application can be found here. The activities in the “Turn on the Night” kit allow students and the public to address real lighting problems that relate to sky glow, glare, light trespass and energy consumption. 


Jorge Rivero González

IAU100 Coordinator

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