Earth Hour Home Page

Earth Hour 2009

Griffith Observatory and the City of Los Angeles are pleased to participate in Earth Hour 2009, a global initiative organized by the World Wildlife Fund to call public attention to climate change. At 8:30 p.m. in each time zone, on Saturday, March 28, civic landmarks (including the Observatory), private buildings, and whole neighborhoods across Los Angeles and around the world will turn off their lights for one hour to signal their commitment to a more sustainable world.

For more information about Earth Hour LA, please click here.

More than 100 cities and towns across the United States have agreed to darken some of the nation’s most famous skylines. In addition to Los Angeles, these cities include Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Miami, Nashville, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. The US will join more than 2,100 cities, towns, and villages in 80 countries including Beijing, Berlin, Copenhagen, Dubai, Hong Kong, London, Mexico City, Moscow, Nairobi, Paris, Rome, Sydney, and Toronto as Earth Hour cascades through the world’s time zones on this historic night.

Paradise at Night Initiative

We are hoping that people all over southern California will spend Earth Hour getting together with families and friends (or perhaps their entire block!) to turn off the lights and look at the stars. Residents are encouraged to get out their telescopes and binoculars and look at the night sky.

Below is a map of the Los Angeles evening sky for Earth Hour 2009. To download and print the map, just click on it, and a printable PDF version will open.

Sky of Los Angeles at Night

International Year of Astronomy Dark Skies Awareness

Even with all the lights being turned out for Earth Hour, most urban areas around the world still generate far too much upward light (or "light pollution") to see more than a couple dozen stars in the night sky. People have lost their longstanding connection with the stars, planets, and constellations, and the wonder of a dark night sky. Just after the Northridge earthquake in 1994, when power was out across Los Angeles, more than a few frightened residents wondered what all the lights were in the night sky. Some thought it was the end of the world. It was, in fact, the stars. Even those who live in suburbs cannot see the glorious arc of the Milky Way Galaxy overhead, or make out fainter stars or planets.

Though the situation has gotten worse in many places as cities have grown, some cities are taking action to ease light pollution and restore the dark sky. Cities like Los Angeles have made a conscious effort when they replace street lighting to purchase fixtures which are properly shielded and focus the light downward. This both helps reduce light pollution and saves money by using lighting more efficiently.

This year we are celebrating the International Year of Astronomy (IYA), the 400th anniversary of Galileo's pioneering telescope observations. Griffith Observatory and its fellow institutions around the world are holding special public events throughout 2009 to mark this important milestone in human history. One of the cornerstone projects of the IYA is Dark Skies Awareness.