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February 07, 2012

You can help in gauging world light pollution

The mild winter weather that we have been enjoying will make it even easier to participate as a citizen-scientist in the GLOBE at Night project to preserve dark skies.

The GLOBE at Night project is a global effort to raise awareness of the effect of light pollution by inviting participants to measure their night sky brightness by counting the visible stars within the constellation of either Orion the Hunter or Leo the Lion.

The observation should be made during the evening hours and only during certain weeks including February 12-2 and two other weeks this winter and spring.

The star count observation is then reported to the Globe at Night website from a computer or smart phone.

Last year participants made more than 66,000 observations from 115 countries.

I encourage people to join others around the world by participating in the Globe at Night campaign this year.

Not only will you contribute relevant data to this global investigation, but you may also find that spending some time outside looking at our starry sky is a rather pleasant pastime.

For more information about the project or light pollution, visit the Globe at Night web site at: http://www.globeatnight.org

Bob Riddle
Lee’s Summit

Comments

katelyn

lol never new that lol :)

Shawn in Canada

The over use of artificial lighting at night does not reduce crime as proven in many scientific studies carried out in the UK specifically in England involving cities with excessive night lighting and cities with reduced night lighting. The cities with more night lighting had a crime increase. This was verified data from the respective police departments!

To much artificial light at night leads to light pollution which not only is destroying our night sky which is part of our history as a species but it is also robbing (pun intended!) us of seeing and appreciating the stars and wonders of space that our tiny little planet dwells in.

Light pollution or to much artificial lighting at night also has serious impacts on air quality as demonstrated in a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)study just last year. It actually leads to an increase in smog.

Light pollution also is being shown in many medical studies to cause cancer in humans. The American Medical Association has even listed Light Pollution as public health hazard. I live in Canada and know this stuff from the USA! How come many of the posters here don't?

Light pollution also has negative implications on wildlife and plant species by disrupting circadian rhythms.

The above is just a small insight into why everyone should care about Light Pollution. More info can be found at the International Darksky Association website www.darksky.org

And in closing I will say this to Fatguard's post above about crime... if artificial lighting at night is needed to keep people safe then why does the majority, greatest percentage, of crimes occur in broad daylight?

Cheers.

Shawn / Ontario, Canada
Member of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC)
Past Chair, KW RASC Light Abatement Committee

Fatguard

The night lights reduce crime, increase safety for late night / early morning runners, walkers, bikers, store customers. I am in favor of more efficient lighting (lumens / watts) but not for less lumens overall. I enjoy the night sky and suggest a cruise to see shooting stars and other exciting things. Or, Mount Magazine in Arkansas is a great place to go see the stars. But if the choice is street lights on Main or no street lights, sign me up for the lights.

LL

gg...Sounds interesting...I might give it a try. :)

ggbridge

You should do the globe at night count. I'd be interested to hear how many stars you see in Orion.

LL

Out here it's pitch dark at night and we can see stars galore whenever the sky is clear...

...I guess city life has some drawbacks... :)

ggbridge

We could all use those orange reflecting triangles :-)

Car lights add to light pollution, but in cities the biggest offenders are street lights and building lights, parking lot lights, especially car sales lots. There are night sky friendly lights out there - they tend to save energy, too. It's too bad, everyone should have the chance to see the night sky like my family saw it in northern Minnesota last summer...

Gary

If we turn off all our lights, something will run into us.

Galileo

deep in the heart of Texas.

ggbridge

Only if you like to see the really cool stuff in the night sky. Take Orion for instance. Here in KC we can see the seven main stars. But in northern Minnesota you can easily see the Great Orion Nebula, just south of the belt.

Leo has a super bright star - regulus, but in the KC night sky, the rest of the constellation is hard to make out.

I like these light pollution studies because for me, there is nothing quite as majestic as a truly unpolluted night sky.

Jimbo Slice

The stars at night.... are shining bright...

Anarchanon

I don't mean to sound negative... I generally oppose polution... but why do I care how much light there is at night? Does it cause some kind of problem?

 
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