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IAU100 Celebrates the 2019 UNESCO International Day of Light

16 May 2019


A global view of the Earth at night, compiled from over 400 satellite images. Credit: NASA

The IAU100 Dark Skies for All project aims to raise awareness of the preservation of quiet and dark skies in coordination with the UNESCO International Day of Light on 16 May 2019. In celebration of the International Day of Light, the Dark Skies for All project is distributing 100 Turn on the Night kits in 50 countries worldwide.

The Dark Skies For All project highlights how astronomy represents a rich and significant aspect of cultural and natural heritage and highlights the importance of preserving it and passing it onto future generations. The initiative therefore supports the aim of the 2019 International Day of Light, which acts as an annual focal point for the continued appreciation of light and the role it plays in science, culture and art, education, and sustainable development, and in fields as diverse as medicine, communications, and energy.


Following an open call at the end of 2018, 100 of the 205 applicants from 50 countries who will receive the "Turn on the Night" kit distributed by the project. 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. The activities are designed around problem-based learning scenarios in which students find the solutions. The activities are optimized for 11-18 year olds but can be expanded to older individuals. Most of the activities can be done within in a few minutes during class or afterschool and as stations or as stand-alones. The remaining applicants will be offered the chance to buy the kits at cost


The second edition of the International Day of Light is comprising the celebration of over 300 events in 70 countries worldwide, bringing together an international community of scientists, students and the public. The 2019 flagship International Day of Light event is the Illuminating Education Conference at the UNESCO Category 1 Institute ICTP in Trieste on 16 May 2019. As one of the speakers, Stephen Pompea, of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory and Coordinator of the IAU100 Einstein Schools Global Project, will discuss Astronomy Public Engagement at the event, based on the many activities originating during the International Year of Astronomy 2009 and the legacy actions taking place during IAU100. The full programme for the flagship event can be found here.


Constance Walker

National Optical Astronomical Observatory, Dark Skies for All Co-chair


Sze-leung Cheung

NARIT, Dark Skies for All Co-chair

Jorge Rivero González

IAU100 Coordinator

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