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March, 2015

Globe at Night Newsletter

So far in 2015, we have received over 4600 measurements! This year is Globe at Night’s 10-year anniversary! Can we make it to 20,000 measurements 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 2015 Campaign Dates

Northern Hemisphere
Orion: March 11-20

Southern Hemisphere
Crux: March 11-20

Globe at Night Spotlight

This month’s spotlight features students at Legacy Traditional School in Tucson, AZ, USA, a K-6 school. Students in Mrs. Konski’s class ran their own experiment to find “Where have all the Stars Gone?” in Tucson. They did average star counts for bright and darker locations in Tucson (suburban vs. urban) to see how outdoor lighting affects how many stars you can see in the night sky. And it turns out, their hypotheses were proven: Brighter, urban areas had a lower star count than darker, suburban areas. Great job, Mrs. Konski’s students!

Where have all the Stars Gone? Science Fair Presentation Where have all the Stars Gone? Hypothesis Where have all the Stars Gone? Data Table

Data Points in the New Year

Countries and cities are already ringing in the New Year with a lot of Globe at Night measurements! But some locations are sure standing out. Like the Dallas-Fort Worth area in Texas, USA, which already has about 275 data points, which puts Texas into our “Over 100” club for the USA. Puerto Rico (PR) has also been busy taking Globe at Night measurements! San Juan, PR and the surrounding area has contributed about 95 data points so far in this year. Keep up the good work!


Puerto Rico

“Over 100” Club 2015 Update

Even though our “Over 100” Club members for countries and US states got reset with the New Year, many countries and states have already rejoined the Club for 2015!

Our “Over 100” Club members for countries in 2015 include: United States (2804), Japan (277), Poland (224), Croatia (207), United Kingdom (107), Puerto Rico (104).

Our “Over 100” Club members for US states include: Michigan (1599), Texas (562), Arizona (172).

Good job and welcome 2015 “Over 100” Club members!

Globe at Night Podcast

Did you know that we have a Globe at Night podcast on the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast? Will the Dark Night be able to protect our dark skies from light pollution? Click here to hear the latest podcast and find out! And tune in on April 1 to hear the next episode.

The International Year of Light

Google+ Hangouts
On behalf of the International Year of Light 2015, the International Dark-Sky Association is hosting a series of 6 Google+ Hangouts, one every two months in 2015). Each hangout will address how light pollution affects specific topics. The first Google+ Hangout occurred on February 23. It featured experts in the field of health, Drs. Mario Motta and Richard Stevens, and addressed the effects of light pollution on human health. View the YouTube video at: http://youtu.be/ltd_D1PhrC8. The remaining topics (in order) will be on light pollution’s affect on astronomy, safety, wildlife, energy and cultural heritage.

On March 19, the International Dark-Sky Association will host a Google+ Hangout on astronomy and light pollution. It will occur at 5pm UTC. The guest speakers will be David Levy and Tim Hunter. Both are amateur astronomers. David is a very well-known comet hunter (e.g., Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9). Tim is the co-founder of the International Dark-Sky Association. They will discuss, among other things, how light pollution affects astronomy and astronomical research. To learn more, check out the Google+ event page. Upcoming hangout dates and times will be featured in future Globe at Night newsletters; so stay tuned!

Ultra Super Pi Day
One of the cornerstones of IYL2015’s Comic Light is celebrating Einstein’s Centenary. Every year, Einstein’s birthday is celebrated on March 14 and called “Pi Day” due to the relationship between the date (3/14) and the first three digits of pi (3.14). But this year is ultra special, because it’s Ultra Super Pi Day (3/14/15 9:26:53). So we not only get to celebrate two decimals, but nine decimals (3.141592653)! In celebration of Einstein’s birthday and Ultra Super Pi day, use the hashtag #31415 on social media sites to share your Pi Day preparations, plans, and celebrations. Pictures and videos are welcome.

Also, in celebration of Ultra Super Pi Day, on March 14 at 9:26 pm, people all over the world will be taking Globe at Night measurements, like in Tucson, Arizona, USA; see http://www.pimaregionalsupport.org/SuperPiDay. So join the fun and be sure contribute Globe at Night data points on Ultra Super Pi Day at 9:26 pm. Happy Ultra Super Pi Day, everyone! For more information on taking Globe at Night data points on March 14, see http://www.light2015.org/Home/Event-Programme/2015/Other/International-Night-of-Skyglow-Observation.html.

April: Global Astronomy Month

Did you know that April is Global Astronomy Month? There are three programs that are taking place under the theme of dark skies awareness: Globe at Night, the International Earth and Sky Photo Contest, and the International Dark Sky Week. Read below or click on this website to learn more and to see how you can get involved!

"Light in the Sky" by Giorgia Hofer “Light in the Sky” by Giorgia Hofer

International Earth and Sky Photo Contest
It’s that time of year again. The World at Night is hosting the 6th annual International Earth and Sky Photo Contest in collaboration with the Education and Public Outreach group of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory and Astronomers Without Borders. Contest submissions begin in March and end on Earth day, April 22. So start getting your photos ready! More information will follow in late February. Click here to read more about the contest and to see last year’s amazing candidates and winners.

International Dark Sky Week
April 13-18, 2015 is International Dark Sky week! Dark Sky Week (DSW) was created in 2003 by high-school student, Jennifer Barlow. In 2009 for the International Year of Astronomy, DSW went international. Hosted by the International Dark-Sky Association, the International Dark Sky Week (IDSW) has grown to become a worldwide event and a key component of Global Astronomy Month. The goals of IDSW are to appreciate the beauty of the night sky and to raise awareness of how poor-quality lighting creates light pollution.

IDSW is a great time to host a neighborhood star party to introduce the idea of preserving a dark night sky to your community or to evaluate your own lighting to make sure that it is dark sky friendly. Find some great ways to fight light pollution at the International Dark-Sky Association’s IDSW page.

Follow the Dark Skies Awareness blog and check out these Dark Sky Resources. And share your experiences on social media sites using #GAM2015 and #IDSW2015.

Light Pollution Research

Want to find out more about light pollution and current research being done concerning it? If so, check out the three links below!

  • This paper was published in “Scientific Reports”. It explores worldwide variations of skyglow (light pollution going up into the sky) as opposed to skyglow on the local, regional level.
  • This cool new light pollution map displays radiance using National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Sky Quality Meter (SQM) data.
  • Ever wonder what happens to your Globe at Night measurements once you’ve submitted them? Well, all the data has been compiled from the past into one map! This map shows 5,000 locations on Earth where someone made an observation in the past but there hasn’t been a new observation within the last five years. If you can make an observation near to one of these points (or if you have a friend who lives close to one of them), it would be extremely helpful. Also, try taking measurements where no data points have been taken yet!

Workshops and Conferences

This August the International Astronomical Union’s General Assembly will take place in Honolulu, Hawaii. During the General Assembly, a very special Focus Meeting (FM#21) on “Mitigating Threats of Light Pollution and Radio Frequency Interference” will occur on August 11-13, 2015. (See http://astronomy2015.org/focus_meeting_21.) People in the field are invited to contribute a session presentation (oral or poster). Submit your abstract at http://astronomy2015.org/abstracts. The abstract deadline is March 18 at 11:59pm UTC. Session topics will include:

  • Faint object observational programs and requirements for dark skies
  • Advances in LED technology and options for spectral management
  • Issues in radio-frequency site protection
  • Progress in protection of specific optical-IR observing sites
  • Astronomy, national parks, World Heritage sites, and dark sky protection (a joint session with FM#2 on “Astronomical Heritage: Progressing the UNESCO–IAU Initiative”)
  • Effective management, regulation and incentives in an anti-regulatory environment
  • Light pollution’s effect on wildlife and human health
  • Light pollution measurement and modeling
  • Communicating awareness and action with the public (e.g., education outreach, especially with the “Cosmic Light” programs for the International Year of Light)
  • Progress and action plan for implementing IAU 2009 Resolution B5

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