Starting This Week, You Can Help Build a Better Map of Light Pollution

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 - 17:00 in Astronomy & Space

Earth at Night NASA During the next two weeks, you can help build a map of global light pollution, assisting scientists and astronomers as they monitor the loss of virgin night skies. You just have to look at the stars and write down what you see - or, more likely, what you don't see. The GLOBE At Night program is encouraging the public to look at certain constellations and compare observations with brightness maps on its site. You can enter your data in a new web app, accessible via tablets and mobile phones. The program, in its sixth year, hopes crowd-sourced night-sky observations will yield the most accurate Earth-at-night maps. Satellite views like the one above can tell the story only so well; ground-based observations are a better gauge of how light from buildings and other infrastructure illuminates most people's night skies. By the turn of the millennium, two-thirds of the...

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