Citizen scientists get ready to track light pollution

Here is an opportunity for students, youth, and families to take part in a 2 week world wide citizen science project to record night time light pollution across the world. One needs to merely go outside, look up, observe the stars from your location, and record your star observations at .

You'll find instructions on how to find your longitude and latitude without a GPS (you may also use a GPS if you have one), there is a family activity packet, and information about observing stars and light pollution in your nighttime sky.

The GLOBE at Night program directs students, families, and the general public how to observe and record the number of stars visible in the constellation Orion, as seen from different locations. Observers report their results online by comparing their view of Orion with a set of template images on the program's Web site, which shows the number of stars in the constellation for a range of visibilities from bright skies to very dark.

2008 marked a monumental shift in human history when the number of people living in cities exceeded half the people on Earth. Because of the ambient light of urban landscapes, many city dwellers have never seen a sky full of stars. The 2008 campaign received measurements from 62 countries. Just over 4,800 of the measurements came from the United States, followed by 380 measurements from Hungary; and Romania, the Czech Republic, Costa Rica, and Spain each reporting over 100 observations.

2009 GLOBE at Night campaign set for 16 - 28 March, 2009.

Five Easy Star-Hunting Steps:

1) Find your latitude and longitude.

2) Find Orion by going outside an hour after sunset (about 7-10 p.m. local time).

3) Match your nighttime sky to one of our magnitude charts.

4) Report your observation.

5) Compare your observation to thousands around the world.

The 2009 Globe at Night event is sponsored by:

The National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment) CADIAS (Centro de Apoyo a la Didáctica de la Astronomía) IDA (International Dark-Sky Association) ESRI