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November, 2014

Globe at Night Newsletter

We’ve received over 17,000 Globe at Night measurements so far this year! Can we make it to 20,000 by the end of the year? Be sure to “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more dark skies news and Globe at Night Spotlights.

Topics in this month’s newsletter:

Upcoming 2014 Campaign Dates

Perseus

Northern Hemisphere
Perseus: November 12-21

Cetus

Southern Hemisphere
Cetus: November 12-21

Globe at Night Spotlight

This month’s spotlight features the students at St. Mary’s School in Medford, Oregon. 9th grade physics students, astronomy students, and members of the astronomy club from St. Mary’s conducted the first detailed night sky survey of Rogue Valley and the largest city in Rogue Valley: Medford. This survey created a baseline for variations in light pollution in the Rogue Valley. Students used Globe at Night procedures and its Dark Skies Rangers activities to measure the night sky brightness, do a light audit in an area of their choice, and research light pollution and its effects on the environment. During this survey, the students contributed 158 data points from the Rogue Valley for the Globe at Night campaign. The students were able to identify areas where there was the greatest light pollution and where lighting was inefficient or not dark sky compliant. This helped to increase awareness of light pollution in Rogue Valley and hopefully will stimulate appropriate lighting regulations in non-compliant areas. Way to go St. Mary’s!

dark sky map of rogue valley area

Globe at Night Podcast

Did you know that we have a new Globe at Night podcast on the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast? On November 15, check out the mischief Lighting Evil Doer gets into as the Dark Night combats her and light pollution.

“Over 100” Club Update

Globe at Night Data Points are increasing every day! Australia (99), Czech Republic (92), Norway (85), and Slovakia (82) are all very close to joining our “Over 100” club for countries. Australia is only one data point away!

We also have an “Over 100” Club for US states. Arizona (1138), Texas (777), California (655), South Carolina (587), Oklahoma (255), New York (209), Oregon (184), Colorado (172), Florida (123), New Mexico (123), Illinois (116), North Carolina (102), Virginia (101), and Pennsylvania (101) have all made it over 100 data points.

Good job all our “Over 100” Club members! Let’s see who else can join the club over the next month.

Upcoming Workshops

There will be a workshop for the International Year of Light (IYL2015) on Sunday, January 4, 2015 at the American Astronomical Society Meeting in Seattle, Washington from 9:00 am-5:00 pm. Two official programs under the Cosmic Light theme for IYL2015 are on the Galileoscope and Quality Lighting Teaching (QLT) kits. The QLT kits help to increase public and student awareness of light pollution and quality lighting issues, through exploration of the challenges relevant to people’s lives and the discovery of how simply the challenges are solved. The Galileoscope is a low-cost, high optical quality telescope that students build themselves. While students build the scopes, they are able to see how a telescope works and the principles of optics that a telescope uses.

Workshop participants will explore activities surrounding the kits and learn how they can be incorporated into IYL events at their home institutions. Registration for this and all other AAS workshops ends on December 18, 2014. Click here to register now!

Globe at Night Updates

The Globe at Night campaign is now collaborating with a global network to measure the night sky brightness using Sky Quality Meters - type “LE” (lens and Ethernet)! The main network organizers are from the Department of Physics at the University of Hong Kong. Sky Quality Meter (SQM-LE) stations around the world will be contributing data points to the Globe at Night database. If you already own an SQM-LE, you can join the network! There will be a user workshop at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan at Tokyo on January 7-8, 2015. Please email outreach@iau.org, if interested.

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Loss of the Night app

Also, a new version of the Loss of the Night app is out! This app allows you to submit your Globe at Night data points in real time. This new version, which originally was only for Android smart phones, now has an iPhone version. Other improvements in this new version include:

  • Improved feedback: We fit your data and tell you the estimated naked eye limiting magnitude, approximately how many stars are in your sky, and how consistent your observations were.
  • Smoother behavior: Phones that had problems with an unstable star field should now be fixed.
  • More customization: You can change font sizes and switch the screen brightness between a city/country mode. Pinch zooming will replace the zoom buttons.
  • Better night mode: Removal of gray backgrounds and replacing orange with red in many places.
  • Faster GPS convergence
  • Expanded language support (15 languages total)
  • More accurate measurement technique
  • Better set of stars used

Check out the press release on the new Loss of the Night (LON) app.

Download the Loss of the Night app today on your mobile app store:

NOAO AURA NSF

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