Let There Be Night!

Light pollution is one of the most easily remedied environmental issues. We have a chance to not only use energy more efficiently by how we light our streets, houses, and businesses without risking our community safety, but we can give access to the night sky once again to ourselves and our children.

As a part of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 dark skies awareness project and in conjunction with Earth Hour 2009 where people everywhere turns the lights off for a few hours to demonstrate the broad impact we have on the environment by lighting our world inefficiently, one group is using the issue as a learning and teaching opportunity.

earth-hour

The podcast for today over at 365 Days of Astronomy is all about how one group of students plan to measure the degree of light pollution in their community by a simple naked-eye observation of the constellation Orion.

ss-200901062038291

This is a project others can participate in. I will be doing this at Bellaire for sure and others should as well. The dates are from March 16 – March 28 2009.

It’s easy to do. Just follow these steps from the GLOBE at Night project:

1) Find your latitude and longitude.

2) Find Orion by going outside an hour after sunset
(about 7-10pm 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.

Help do some easy and fun science and bring the night sky back to humanity.

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