International Day of Light

Quick Facts - AU

HashtagsCompiled on#LightDay2024
Related Hashtags#Light, #Photonics, #IDL2024, #Sustainabledevelopment, #Optics, #PlanetIX
2024 Date16 May 2024
2025 Date16 May 2025

International Day of Light

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International Day of Light History

International Day of Light (IDL) aims to cherish and honour the pivotal role of light in numerous facets of our lives - ranging from scientific discoveries, to cultural and artistic expressions, and its importance for sustainable development. IDL raises awareness of the ways in which optical technologies, such as photonics and advanced imaging techniques, contribute to advancements in fields like medicine, communications, and energy, while also highlighting light’s sheer beauty and its embodiment of hope and inspiration.

Established by UNESCO in 2017, International Day of Light commemorates the anniversary of the first successful operation of a laser by engineer and physicist Theodore Maiman. IDL's main objective is to encourage global appreciation for the vital role of light, and its associated technologies, in areas such as education, art, culture, and the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. By engaging various sectors of society, including scientific communities, industry, educational institutions, and cultural organizations, IDL fosters dialogue and collaboration that underscores the importance of light's impact on every aspect of our lives.

International Day of Light reiterates the power and significance of light in various spheres of human endeavor, fostering a deep-rooted connection between people and the unifying power of light. In Australia, numerous events are organized, dedicated to celebrating the diverse and incredible ways in which light influences our world, providing the perfect opportunity for everyone to share in the marvel that is light. International Day of Light is celebrated annually on May 16th.

International Day of Light facts

  • Light travels in a straight line. If objects are in its path, they will cause the light to bend or refract.
  • The speed of light is 186,282 miles or 299,792 km per second.
  • Radiant light can be produced through various processes, such as incandescence (light resulting from heat), fluorescence (light emitted by a substance when it absorbs light or other electromagnetic radiation), chemiluminescence (light from a chemical reaction), and bioluminescence (light produced by a living organism).
  • As of 2021, over 2.7 million Australian households have solar panels installed, making Australia one of the world's leading countries in solar energy adoption.
  • Due to its location in the Southern Hemisphere, Australia generally receives high levels of sunlight. On average, there are about 2,800 to 3,200 hours of sunshine per year in most parts of the country.

Top things to do in Australia for International Day of Light

  • Discover events near you. UNESCO hosts activities and events for people of all ages and backgrounds. They participate globally so that everyone around the world can gain an appreciation for the central role of light in science and culture.
  • Stay informed about upcoming news. UNESCO periodically releases news about scientific progress involving light technology.
  • Explore the Bioluminescence: Certain times of the year, you can witness this natural light display caused by phytoplankton in several places in Australia including Tasmania’s Preservation Bay or Jervis Bay in New South Wales.
  • Attend Vivid Sydney: Although not strictly on International Day of Light, this is Australia's biggest light festival that usually takes place in May and June. It features immersive light installations and 3D projections.

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