Skip to content
News International Dark Sky Week

Dark skies over Shanghai: Celebrating International Dark Sky Week with the Shanghai Astronomy Museum and Rémy Martin

Shanghai skyline at night
At 10 pm each night, or 11 pm in the summer, the downtown light display in Shanghai goes dark. Photo: Ruskin Hartley

You can set your watch by it. At 10 pm every night —11 pm in the Summer— the light display in the Shanghai central business district goes dark. I was there as the guest of Frank Fei Guo, a local lighting designer and leader of DarkSky Shanghai. As a city of 26 million, it’s far from dark even once the display lights turn off, but it does demonstrate even large cities can take steps towards mitigating light pollution.

But there is a place in Shanghai where you can go and see the stars. Daily, 4,000 tickets to the new Shanghai Astronomy Museum sell out in one minute. At that rate, it would take 15 years for all current residents to visit. This award-winning museum is the largest and surely one of the world’s most innovative astronomy museums and planetariums.

Frank and I were there to participate in their Forum to mark International Dark Sky Week. The museum has collaborated with one of DarkSky’s corporate partners, Rémy Martin, to raise awareness of dark, star-filled skies.

International Dark Sky Week event at the Shanghai Astronomy Museum,
Dark Sky event at the Shanghai Astronomy Museum with Jeff Dai (left), Liu Jian (fourth from left), Nicole Lee (center). Credit: Rémy Martin

We met with Liu Jian, vice director of the museum, and Nicole Lee, brand lead for Rémy Martin, to discuss future collaborations. In 1870, Paul-Émily Rémy Martin, an avid astronomer, chose the centaur as their symbol. It was also his star sign, Sagittarius.

Over the past few years, Rémy Martin has worked with Jeff Dai, co-lead of DarkSky Beijing, to share images and live streams of dark, star-filled skies across China through social media. This has contributed to the growing interest in dark skies across mainland China. Meanwhile, back in their vineyards around Cognac, they have taken steps to mitigate light pollution by following our principles for responsible outdoor lighting.

Later this year, we look forward to extending this collaboration by exhibiting photos from the Capture the Dark photo contest at the Shanghai Astronomy Museum. It’s another good reason to visit this groundbreaking museum.