International Dark Sky Week

This year the International Dark Sky Week is April 22-30, 2022.

According to the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) – founded in 1988 and based in Tucson, Arizona – light pollution is increasing at a rate two times that of population growth, and 83% of the global population lives under a light-polluted sky. That’s why the group has established an International Dark Sky Week, which in 2022 falls from Earth Day, April 22, to April 30.

Goals for the week include turning off unneeded exterior lights and considering leaving them off all year long. The group also hopes you’ll learn the stars and constellations, teach them to others, and join the global dark-sky movement to protect and celebrate our shared heritage.

As both a horse lover and devoted stargazer, I like to find the two equine groupings in the heavens. Pegasus, the most recognized creature in Greek mythology, is a mythical winged divine horse, and its nearby, smaller grouping, Equuleus, which is ‘little horse” in Latin. 

The Square of Pegasus constellation is the seventh-largest constellation in the sky. Astronomers will tell you it’s not really a constellation at all, but an asterism, like the Big Dipper, which means its a noticeable pattern on our sky’s dome. Pegasus is best spotted on dark nights beginning in late September and early October. It’s not far from W-shaped Cassiopeia and lies just above Aquarius. Cygnus the Swan is not too far away, either. Look for a group of stars in the shape of a box, with several lines of stars extending out from the corners.

Equuleus–pronounced [ih-kwoo-lee-ahy]–is the second smallest constellation in the night sky. The little horse is visible in mid-September rising just before Pegasus. This tiny four-star constellation is sometimes referred to as the pony or foal constellation.

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