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Dark Sky week in Mass

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April 2-8 Proclaimed “Dark Sky Week” in Massachusetts

Discover the night and learn about light pollution across the Commonwealth

For immediate release (April 1, 2024}

Contact: Kelly Beatty (DarkSky MA); 617-416-9991

BOSTON, MA — Governor Maura Healey has declared April 2-8 “Dark-Sky Week” in Massachusetts to draw attention both to the issues of light pollution in our Commonwealth and to the solutions for dealing with it. This proclamation is the culmination of efforts by the Massachusetts Chapter of DarkSky International.

Download the proclamation here. Download image of the proclamation on display at the State House rotunda

The celebration of International Dark Sky Week (IDSW) encourages everyone to get acquainted or re-acquainted with the nighttime sky. The idea began in 2002, when 15-year old Jennifer Barlow introduced the idea in her hometown of Midlothian, Virginia. One year later, DarkSky International embraced the concept and promoted “Dark Sky Week” across the U.S, later expanding it to a worldwide celebration.

“We’re excited that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is joining 10 other states and dozens of other governments in the U.S. and worldwide that are issuing International Dark Sky Week proclamations,” said Prof. James Lowenthal, President of DarkSky Massachusetts. “Every resident, every plant, every animal is affected by light pollution. Natural darkness at night is a gift of nature that urgently needs protection. And providing that protection — by curbing light pollution — will save energy, improve public safety, and bring back the stars that have been overwhelmed by artificial light at night.”

During IDSW, Lowenthal encourages everyone to get outside with friends and family to observe the night sky with Globe at Night. This citizen-science project requires no equipment or experience, yet its results have been used by researchers to track the growth of light pollution worldwide. Those data reveal that light pollution has increased globally by 10% per year since 2011.

“We now know that excess light at night (LAN), especially blue-rich light, adversely affects human health,” explains Dr. Mario Motta of the Massachusetts Medical Society. “LAN disrupts sleep, increases obesity and diabetes, and leads to certain hormonally linked carcinomas. Poorly designed, unshielded lights are also a traffic safety hazard, especially for older drivers. That’s why MMS and the American Medical Association support limiting nighttime blue-light emission, and reducing light pollution in general.”

Working with key members of the Legislature, DarkSky Massachusetts has put forward legislation that, if enacted, would establish best-practice requirements for state- and municipally-funded lighting projects. It would also direct the Commonwealth’s Department of Transportation and Department of Public Utilities to update their outdoor-lighting policies. The bill is moving forward in the Senate (as S.2102) and House (as H.3164).


Since its founding in 1988, DarkSky International has worked to preserve and protect the nighttime environment and our heritage of dark skies. This is accomplished through promoting environmentally responsible outdoor lighting, educating the public and policymakers about night-sky conservation, and empowering the public with the tools and resources to help bring back the night.

Massachusetts local proclamations :

Nantucket :,35234…

Northampton:, then scroll to bottom, then scroll to IDSW information

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