Can You See the Stars?
Tonight, and for the next few nights, you can take part in the international project GLOBE at Night, an annual 2-week campaign. During GLOBE at Night, you will record the brightness of your night sky by matching its appearance against the constellation Orion with star maps of progressively fainter stars. Your measurements are submitted on-line and a few weeks later, organizers will release a map of light-pollution levels worldwide. Over the last four GLOBE at Night campaigns, volunteers from over 100 countries have contributed 35,000 measurements.
So what exactly do you need to do? It’s simple, just visit the GLOBE at Night website and follow their instructions. You’ll need to:
1. print out the Orion maps from the activity pack
2. go outside and find Orion. Make sure you wait till it’s properly dark, which is after about 2015 your time. Hint, Orion will be towards the south, and look like this:
3. compare what you see with the seven Orion maps, and note down which one it looks like the most. This will tell you the magnitude (brightness) of the dimmest stars you can see
4. report your observation here including the date and time you made the observation, and your latitude and longitude (don’t worry, there’s an interactive map that’ll help you find these)
Simple. Happy Orion spotting! I’m just waiting until it gets dark enough to make my own observations.