View the Milky Way, help stem light pollution!

Globe At Night Text over image of North and South America at night showing light patterns of human settlements.

Have you ever seen the Milky Way from where you live? Most of us have not and it’s largely due to increased light pollution from outdoor lighting. Light pollution not only wastes between 2 to 10 billion dollars a year in energy and money but it causes human sleep disorders and disrupts habits critical to ecology.

GLOBE at Night is working with citizen scientists around the world to observe and measure the changes in light pollution.

GLOBE at Night is an annual 2-week campaign in March. People all over the world record the brightness of their night sky by matching its appearance toward the constellation Orion with star maps of progressively fainter stars. They submit their measurements on-line and a few weeks later, organizers release a map of light-pollution levels worldwide. Over the last four GLOBE at Night campaigns, volunteers from over 100 nations have contributed 35,000 measurements.

Citizen scientists, mark your calendars for March 3-16, 2010, each night from 8-10pm, when there will be no visible Moon and the constellation, Orion, will be visible to naked eyes from almost any location on Earth! It’s easy to get started and Teacher and Family Activity Packs can be downloaded for free. If you do participate, consider sharing your experiences here on ScienceForCitizens.net on your very own Member Blog.

Categories: Astronomy & Space, Citizen Science, Nature & Outdoors

About the Author

Darlene Cavalier

Darlene Cavalier

Darlene Cavalier is a Professor at Arizona State University's Center for Engagement and Training, part of the School for the Future of Innovation in Society. Cavalier is the founder of SciStarter. She is also the founder of Science Cheerleader, an organization of more than 300 current and former professional cheerleaders pursuing STEM careers, and a cofounder of ECAST: Expert and Citizen Assessment of Science and Technology, a network of universities, science centers, and think tanks that produces public deliberations to enhance science policymaking. She is a founding board member of the Citizen Science Association, a senior advisor at Discover Magazine, a member of the EPA's National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology, and was appointed to the National Academy of Sciences "Designing Citizen Science to Support Science Learning" committee. She is the author of The Science of Cheerleading and co-editor of The Rightful Place of Science: Citizen Science, published by Arizona State University. Darlene holds degrees from Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania and was a high school, college and NBA cheerleader. Darlene lives in Philadelphia with her husband and four children.