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Monday, February 21, 2011

How Dark Are Your Skies?

Here is an opportunity to contribute to science, have fun, and learn about your local sky conditions. The sixth Globe at Night 2011 Campaign kicks off on February 21 and lasts until March 6. In this citizen-science project contributors from around the world will estimate how dark their skies are by comparing what they see from their location with star charts that show stars at different limiting magnitudes. The constellation chosen for this campaign is Orion, one of the most prominent and brightest constellations in the winter sky. There is even a smart phone web app that allows you to compare the sky to charts you see on the screen, fill out the form on your phone, and submit the report in real time. How cool is that!

You can do this as many nights from as many locations as you please. Or just do it once and enjoy contributing to a world wide environmental science project. The Globe at Night will integrate all of the data into a map of sky brightness around the world which will be viewable from the project's web site. This should just take a few minutes a night and will give you a chance to become familiar with one of the oldest and most beautiful constellations in the heavens.

Do this project with your children or your class, if you are a teacher. Sky brightness can vary widely over a small area, so you can compile your own map of local sky brightness. You can use it to keep track of the growing threat of light pollution in your community and even use it for an action agenda to help mitigate the effects of light pollution.

And while engaged in this project, you won't have to remember to Keep on looking up!

Globe at Night reports from 2010

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1 comment:

  1. Great to see someone in Israel involved in this project. Mazel tov from Florida,



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