International Dark Sky Week 2021 - A virtual roadshow of Mayo
International Dark Sky Week, which takes place from 5 - 12 April is, as its name suggests, a global affair, organised annually by the International Dark Sky Association. On this global stage, Ireland is playing a leading role, particularly in County Mayo, home of Mayo Dark Sky Park. ‘Each evening at 7pm, a different community will host an event celebrating one of the facets of our dark sky story. We start on Monday 5th April in Newport, the gateway to Mayo Dark Sky Park for a talk by Derek Dempsey founder of Newport Astronomy Club. On Tuesday we move to Clare Island who will virtually host UK art collective Lumen Studios, with exclusive preview of "Our Night Skies", a video composite of time-lapses of the night sky, showcasing artists from all over the globe.’ The roadshow then moves to Achill Island on Wednesday, where world renowned archaeo-astronomer Dr. Frank Prendergast will examine its ‘Mountains, Mystery and Megaliths’, before we head north on Thursday to Ballycroy village to learn about the impact of light pollution on the countryside The roadshow will be a feast for all the senses, as on Friday 9th April we join artist Louise Beer for a live broadcast of her special audio piece entitled ‘Memories of Darkness’. Everyone who registers for the event will receive a secret link to the broadcast. And it’s not just humans who are impacted by the loss of darkness. On Saturday 10th April, award winning film maker and cinematographer Colin Stafford-Johnson will be welcomed by the village of Mulranny to share his experiences capturing footage of wildlife after dark. The week’s events begin with a planet (Mars) and so it is only fitting that they end with a star – our very own Sun. On Sunday, appropriately enough, the island of Inishturk will play virtual host to astrophyscist Brendan Owens, who will talk about ‘the star on our doorstep’, which he describes as a slow-burning tale of scientific discovery!