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IYA2009 Boosts GLOBE at Night to Record Number of Dark-Skies Observations

GLOBE at NightThe global citizen-science campaign GLOBE at Night 2009 recorded 80 percent more observations of the world’s dark skies than the program’s previous record—including double the number of digital measurements—thanks in large part to active participation and publicity from the network of 140 countries currently celebrating the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009).

Now in its fourth year, GLOBE at Night encourages people everywhere to observe the prominent constellation Orion at least once over a two-week period and compare the number of stars that are visible using their unaided eyes with a series of charts that show how Orion would appear in skies ranging from very dark to very bright skies. The program is designed to aid teaching about the impact of excessive artificial lighting on local environments, and the ongoing loss of a dark night sky as a shared natural resource for much of the world’s population.

The 2009 campaign, held from March 16-28, garnered 15,300 geographically “mappable” measurements of Orion, nearly 7,000 more than the previous record of 8,491 that were contributed in 2007. [ Read more… ]