This past weekend I got to visit my uncle in Pittsburgh who just so happens to be an amateur astronomer. Naturally, during the course of my visit the topic of stargazing came up and, as is my custom, I invited him to the annual Star Party held not far from where my parents live in Nebraska. And, as always, he expressed his jealousy of our dark, starry nights. To be frank, I rarely considered the skies over Nebraska to be anything special–until I got a glimpse of the night sky in Pittsburgh. It was seriously like the difference between night and day. In Nebraska, one can see millions, if not trillions, of stars on a clear night. In Pittsburgh, it was difficult to make out many of the stars that are easily visible to the naked eye in Nebraska. Why is there so much difference you ask? It is an interesting phenomenon for certain–better known as light pollution.
Thanks to MWW reader Connie Walker for sharing this information about the GLOBE at Night Campaign, which is currently underway.My Wonderful Worldis an ardent supporter of citizen science initiatives like GLOBE, whichwe featured during last year’s inventory here on the blog.So get out and get stargazing–tonight!
Map of 2008 observations courtesy GLOBE at Night
SHED LIGHT ON LIGHT POLLUTION!
Be part of the “GLOBE at Night” citizen-science campaign and
make a world of difference! The GLOBE at Night campaign runs March 16-28, 2009.
Help preserve our natural heritage for generations to come.
More than one-fifth of the world population, two-thirds of
the United States
population and one half of the European Union population are unable to see the
stars in our Milky Way galaxy arch across a pristinely dark sky. With half the
world’s population now living in cities, this problem is only getting worse.
Yet you can easily be part of a local solution to a global problem.
Are you a stargazer? Act quickly! Unfortunately, a majority of Americans will never have the opportunity to see a sky unobstructed by ambient light and air pollution, illuminated by stars and not artificial fluorescents. This fact is the impetus behind the GLOBE at Night Campaign. “GLOBE at Night” is an engagement initiative to inspire people to experience the worlds beyond our own wonderful world by … Continue reading Last chance to participate in the GLOBE at Night Campaign!