A Common Heritage
The Right to Starlight

International Initiative in Defence of the Quality of the Night Sky as Mankind’s Scientific, Cultural and Environmental Right

Galaxy M51 - William Hercshel ORM




April 20th - 2010
THE WORLD NIGHT Bookmark and Share

The World Night in Defence of the Starlight





April 20th 2010 is the date when the Declaration in Defence of the Night Sky and the Right to Starlight will be promoted, as every year since 2007, at all levels, by municipalities, governments organizations, NGOs, citizens associations and also individuals.

On April 20th, 2007 during the first International Starlight Conference, supported by IAC, UNESCO, IAU,UN-WTO, MaB, SCBD and CMs, it was agreed to promote annually the World Night in Defence of the Starlight as part of our cultural, scientific and environmental heritage. Every year on this date we remind ourselves of the need to preserve our right to view a dark night sky full of stars and to take steps to prevent its disappearance. This year, World Night in Defence of the Starlight falls within Astronomy Week 2010.

The World Night on April 20th is an opportunity to get actively involved in many ways:

  • Organize events and ceremonies for the adoption of the Starlight Declaration.
  • Promote public statements aimed to recover the vision of starry skies and limit light pollution.
  • Switch-off unnecessary lights at night to recover the vision of stars, and at the same time save energy and slow down climate change.
  • Organize artistic events or competitions on themes related with the vision of starry skies.
  • Offer night sky viewing through telescopes.
  • Provide media coverage and public talks by scientists, experts, and dark skies advocates related with all dimensions of the night sky.
  • Promote the identification of local dark areas that warrant protection. Advocate for local dark sky ordinances.
  • And last, but not least, organize events in which children can participate. Our capacity to maintain the right to observe stars is in their hands; it should be the right of future generations.


Declaration in Defence of the Night Sky and the Right to Starlight

This video has been devoloped by Sky Quality Protection Technical Office (OTPC) of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC).



Symbolic switching-off in Plaza de Armas (Santiago, Chile),
celebrating the World Night (April 20th, 2009). OPCC-Chlile

OPCC - The Office for the Protection of the Quality of the Sky of the North of Chile
Focal Point of the Starlight Initiative




IYA Dark Sky

Dark Skies Awareness
seeing in the dark

“Dark Skies Awareness” is one of 11 Global Cornerstone Projects during the 2009 International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009) and “Dark Skies are a Universal Resource” is one of 9 key programs during IYA2009. The goal of “Dark Skies” is to raise the level of public knowledge about adverse impacts of excess artificial lighting on local environments and help more people appreciate the ongoing loss of a dark night sky for much of the world’s population. Toward this end, a range of programs and resource materials has been developed. Everyone is invited to use any of these as local solutions to a global problem.

Globaql Astronomy Month
  Global Astronomy Month
One people - one sky

Professional and amateur astronomers, educators and all astronomy enthusiasts worldwide are invited to celebrate the Universe in April 2010, during Global Astronomy Month – an international project that builds on the achievements of The International Year of Astronomy 2009, by combining a wide array of activities with the possibility of sharing experiences in real-time!.
Dark Sky Week
  International Dark-Sky Week (NDSW)
April 4 to 10, 2010

From April 4 through April 10, 2010, International Dark Sky Week celebrates the heritage of the nighttime sky by encouraging people to turn of unnecessary lights. The event began in 2003 as National Dark-Sky Week in the United States and officially became international in 2009, the International Year of Astronomy. The key to success is the broadest possible participation.
  3 - 16 March
GLOBE at Night 2010

GLOBE at Night is an annual 2-week campaign in March. People all over the world record the brightness of their night sky by matching its appearance toward the constellation Orion with star maps of progressively fainter stars. They submit their measurements on-line and a few weeks later, organizers release a map of light-pollution levels worldwide. Over the last five GLOBE at Night campaigns, volunteers from over 100 nations have contributed 51,000 measurements. A record number of over 16,000 of these measurements came from this year’s campaign.
  Earth Hour 2010
Climate Change

On March 27, 2010 at 8:30 pm, millions of people around the world will come together once again to make a bold statement about their concern for climate change by doing something quite simple—turning off their lights for one hour. Earth Hour symbolizes that, by working together, each of us can make a positive impact in the fight against climate change. In March 2009, during the International Year of Astronomy, more than 4100 cities in 87 countries and over 1 billion people around the world turned off their lights for Earth Hour to demonstrate their commitment to slowing the effects of climate change.
Starlight Declaration pdf
  The World At Night (TWAN)
Earth and Sky Photo Contest Winners Announced

Winners of the International Earth and Sky Photo Contest on Dark Skies Importance were announced last week by The World At Night (TWAN) and Dark Skies Awareness. Submissions to the contest had been received during the second half of International year of Astronomy 2009.

Starlight Declaration pdf


Declaration in Defence of the Night Sky and the Right to Starlight

One of the achievements of the Starlight Initiative was the “Declaration in Defence of the Night Sky and the Right to Starlight”. During the Starlight Conference (2007) was agreed to designate and promote April 20th as the "World Night for the Right to Observe the Stars"..

Support - GOAT  

Campaign for Adoption of the Starlight Declaration.

The Starlight Initiative invites all organizations, both public and private, to adopt the principles of the Starlight Declaration, expressing their support and voluntary commitment to preserve the quality of the night sky and to promote the cultural, scientific and environmental to the observation of the firmament.

Cover Starlight Publication   Publication
Starlight: A Common Heritage

Proceedings of the International Conference in Defence of the Quality of the Night Sky and the Right to Observe the Stars.
16 MB pdfim


Sustainable Energy Europe Campaign

The proposal to promote April 20th as "World Night for the Right to Observe the Stars" was approved during the Starlight Conference held in 2007 in La Palma. The Conference was jointly organized by the La Palma Biosphere Reserve, the IAC (Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias), the Canary Islands Government, the Spanish Ministry of the Environment, IAU, the MaB programme and the UNESCO.

Starlight Conference

This proposal was presented at the Conference by the Government of the Canary Islands to commemorate the day when the Declaration would be approved. “The World Night” original idea was conceived by the Chairman of the Starlight Scientific Committee, Prof. Jafar Jafari.