Archive for the ‘light pollution’ tag

Time to Shift our Gaze Skyward

By December 21st, 2017 at 3:26 pm | Comment

I noticed the season’s first juncos hopping in my yard a few short weeks ago – an event I look forward to every year because I know their arrival here in New England means winter is on its way. And by “winter,” I mean, specifically, winter solstice – the longest night of the year, the end of six months during which the sun sets earlier and earlier every day. Like people of many cultures around the world, I celebrate the first day of winter because it marks the time when we reclaim our daylight, minute by minute, as we march towards warmer days of spring. Read the rest of this entry »

From snorkeling to selfies, here’s how you can advance scientific research

By May 25th, 2017 at 7:08 pm | Comment 1

You’re in good company 
We just returned from the 2017 Citizen Science Association conference in St. Paul, MN and we can confirm that citizen science is hot!  Give yourself a pat on the back for being part of this awesome movement!
Below, we share some new and alumni projects we think you’ll love. Find more projects and events on SciStarter, to do now or bookmark for later.
Cheers!
The SciStarter Team
 

NASA
Globe at Night
Seven out of 10 people in the US have never seen the Milky Way Galaxy in the night sky due to light pollution. You can help understand light pollution in your community by measuring the night sky brightness.
Location: Global 

 

Stream Selfie
Map streams across the country and start testing the waters with Stream Selfie. All you need to do is find a stream, snap a photo, and answer some brief questions. You’ll help fill important gaps in our understanding of water quality.
Location: United States

 

Rescue a Reef
You can help with coral reef restoration with the University of Miami research team. You will be trained in data collection, coral nursery management, and coral restoration. You will need either SCUBA Certification or strong snorkeling skills.
Location: Miami, Florida

 

Avi
FloodCrowd
Across the United Kingdom, if you’ve seen a flood, big or small, you can contribute your observation to FloodCrowd. Your observations will help assess flood risk management with citizen science.
Location: United Kingdom

 

North Carolina King Tides
Be on the lookout for high water in North Carolina due to heavy rains, storms, wind, and king tides. Your photos help communities understand their vulnerabilities to coastal flooding during times of extreme high tides or sea-level rise.
Location: North Carolina

 

Congratulations to the Project Slam finalists! 

We heard over 20 fast-paced talks about new citizen science projects during the Project Slam sponsored by SciStarter at the Citizen Science Association conference. Congratulations to Sparrow Swap, Mark2Cure, and the City Nature Challenge for being the top-voted projects!


Want more citizen science? Check out SciStarter’s Project Finder! With 1100+ citizen science projects spanning every field of research, task and age group, there’s something for everyone!

Globe at Night and Earth Hour: two causes with a common goal

By March 23rd, 2017 at 6:04 pm | Comment

Photo: Christian Haugen

On Saturday, March 25, join hundreds of millions of people around the world and turn off your lights for one hour to show your commitment to the planet, the starry night sky and our collective fight against climate change and light pollution. Participate in Globe at Night before, during and after Earth Hour (Saturday, March 25, 8:30-9:30pm local time). There’s never been a more timely and important moment for the world to stand in solidarity for the protection of our planet and the starry sky above.

Globe at Night is a SciStarter Affiliate Project so your contributions will be automatically tracked in your SciStarter dashboard.


Find more citizen science projects to do at night with the SciStarter Project Finder.

It’s Time to Count the Stars

By October 15th, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Comment

Each purple mark is where someone has taken a look at the stars overhead and reported the data to Star Count.

Each purple mark is where someone has taken a look at the stars overhead and reported the data to Star Count.

Wow! Take a look at the map on the Great World Wide Star Count website. The fall campaign started yesterday and already there are oodles of citizen scientists from around the world posting their data. Citizen scientists from China, Australia, India, Kuwait, Egypt, South Africa, the European Union, Canada, United States, and Mexico have gotten involved so far. They are all looking at how bright the stars are overhead to help us get a better understanding of how streetlights, porch lights, car headlights and other nighttime lights affect how we see the stars in the sky.

Because different stars are visible in different parts of the planet, people north of the equator, in the Northern Hemisphere, are looking for different stars than people south of the equator in the Southern Hemisphere. Citizen scientists that are participating in the Great World Wide Star Count in the Northern Hemisphere are looking at the brightness of stars in the constellation Cygnus. Citizen scientists in the Southern Hemisphere are looking at the brightness of stars in the constellation Sagittarius.

To join the worldwide star gazing effort, print the magnitude chart from Star Count. Then, an hour after sunset sometimes between October 14 and 28, 2011, go outside and find the constellation Cygnus or Sagittarius in the sky. (If you’d like to plan ahead yet are not sure what time the sun sets, you can figure it out with a sunset calculator.)

How bright are those stars? Can you see them clearly or are they hard to see? Compare the way the constellation looks in the sky with the magnitude charts. Record the magnitude of the stars according to the directions in the activity guide and you are ready to report your findings at the Star Count website.

After reporting the magnitude of the stars you saw, take a look at the results pouring into the Star Count map. In the five years that the project has been going on, tens of thousands of people have participated from about 90 countries around the world. You might notice on the map that the same stars appear brighter in some areas of than they do in others. The stars are the same, but they are being seen from places that have different amounts of light pollution – lights from buildings, roads and parking lots that make it difficult to see the stars of the night sky.

Great World Wide Star Count

Days: October 14-28, 2011

Time: An hour after sunset

Enjoy to stars!

Spotting Fireflies for Science

By July 6th, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Comment 1

During the day, a firefly looks more like an ordinary beetle than a flashing light (Photo courtesy of Don Salvatore, Firefly Watch, MOS)

During the day, a firefly looks more like an ordinary beetle than a flashing light (Photo courtesy of Don Salvatore, Firefly Watch, MOS)

Ever seen little points of light buzzing around outside on summer nights? Those lights – fireflies – are beetles that create light through a chemical reaction.  By controlling the reaction, fireflies can turn on and off their lights. They flash light to communicate and find a mate.

Fireflies may be disappearing from some areas where they have been found in the past, so researchers are looking to citizen scientists for help understanding more about what is affecting fireflies.

Changes in the way we use land might be taking a toll on fireflies. For example, as natural landscapes are turned into lawns, fertilizers, pesticides and mowers may jeopardize fireflies, which spend daytime hours on the ground. Fireflies might also be affected by outdoor lights such as streetlights and the amount of water in the environment.

The Firefly Watch project gets the public involved collecting data about where fireflies are found. If you live east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States and have ten minutes a week to look for fireflies in the evening, consider signing up as a volunteer.

Read the rest of this entry »