Grant From Uwingu Fund Will Help Dark-Sky Save Our Stars
June 3, 2013

Grant From Uwingu Fund Will Help Dark-Sky Save Our Stars

Lee Rannals for — Your Universe Online

The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) was recently awarded a grant from the Uwingu Fund in support of the organization's new program called "Save Our Stars."

According to IDA, Save Our Stars (SOS) is a program aimed to work with amateur astronomers and other groups to educate about light pollution, provide information about how it can be diminished, and educate about the importance of limiting sky pollution to protect the dark skies.

“Weʼre excited to have Uwingu's support for our new Save Our Stars (SOS) campaign. The SOS will engage amateur astronomers across the globe in an exciting outreach program that promotes the wonder of the night sky and encourages people to protect it," said IDAʼs executive director Bob Parks.

Uwingu said that with most of the world's population living in urban areas, many youth and their parents are unable to experience the beauty of the night sky.

“Uwinguʼs goals are to fund space research, education projects, and to help the public better connect to the sky and space!” said Uwingu CEO, Dr. Alan Stern. “This grant to the International Dark-Sky Association fulfills all those objectives, and weʼre excited to provide IDA with our support.”

According to a press release, Uwingu, IDA and Astronomers Without Borders (AWB) will be partnering with astronomy clubs and other groups around the world to organize events within easy reach of an urban area. The clubs will develop and administer evening programs that are geared to youth and adults. These programs will include opportunities to learn about astronomy, participate in star gazing events, and see presentations on light pollution.

IDA gave Death Valley National Park its most prestigious award back in February, designating the park as the latest International Dark Sky Park in the world. The association said the park offers views of the night sky similar to what would have been seen before the rise of cities. IDA awarded Death Valley a "Gold Tier" status, which is only awarded to those places that offer some of the darkest locations across the globe.

“Death Valley is a place to gaze in awe at the expanse of the Milky Way, follow a lunar eclipse, track a meteor shower, or simply reflect on your place in the universe,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “We greatly appreciate the International Dark-Sky Association certification. It illustrates the park´s commitment to protect natural darkness and supports the wider mission to protect nightscapes of the entire National Park System.”