Schoolchildren to Map Light Pollution

Schoolchildren around the world will gaze skyward from March 8 to 21 in an effort to help scientists map light pollution. They will be looking for specific constellations, then share their observations through the Internet. The program, called GLOBE at Night, is designed to both help scientists map light pollution while educating kids about the stars, according to BBS News.

Last year, more than 18,000 people from 96 countries on every continent except Antarctica reported a total of more than 4,500 observations as part of the program. GLOBE at Night is a project of The GLOBE Program (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment), a worldwide science and education program managed by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research and Colorado State University.

Outdoor lighting is a growing problem for astronomical observing programs around the world. By having students in many places hunt for the same constellation, GLOBE at Night will allow students to compare their observations with what others see, giving them a sense of how light pollution varies from place to place.

Courtesy of GeoCarta

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