Science Through Backyard Astronomy

You still have a few nights to do some backyard stargazing and submit your observations to GLOBE at Night. March 16 is the last night of this year’s campaign, so take advantage of any clear skies, do some observing, and be included in this study of light pollution worldwide!

So far, GLOBE at Night 2010 has collected over 6000 observations from all around the world. Participating is simple: go outside about one hour after sunset and locate the constellation Orion (shown below) in the sky.

schematic showing stars that are part of constellation Orion

Then, compare your observation with a brightness magnitude chart, and report your finding along with your latitude and longitude on the website. You can look at the GLOBE at Night results to see how the light pollution of your skies compares with that in other locations around the world.

This year’s observing period is scheduled to end soon, on March 16, so visit the website to learn more, get out there and marvel at the stars, and submit your observation to be counted and contribute to learning more about light pollution, both locally and globally.

My apologies for not posting the link to this important citizen science opportunity on any one of the past 12 or so days when I thought about doing so. [insert sound of head thumping against palm of hand here.] The up side: I can wish you all a Happy Pi Day, and share with you this link while I go bake a pie, or perhaps some other type of dessert, and think of at-home science experiments for you to do in your oven. [picture a grin of delight here.]

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