GLOBE at night logo 20020 to 29 April

Join the Worldwide Globe at Night 2014 Campaign

What would it be like without stars at night? What would we lose? Starry night skies have given us poetry, art, music and the wonder to explore. A bright night sky affects energy consumption, health, and wildlife.

The Globe at Night program is an international citizen-science campaign to raise public awareness of the impact of light pollution by inviting citizen scientists to measure their night-sky brightness and submit their observations from a computer or smart phone. Students and scientists use the data to monitor levels of brightness or light pollution around the world. They also use the Globe at Night data to understand light pollution’s effects on energy consumption, plants, wildlife and human health, as well as our ability to enjoy a starry night sky.

GaNmobile webapp2Globe at Night now offers 4 ways to measure night-sky brightness: 

  • The traditional method of matching what you see toward a constellation with star charts;
  • The use of a handheld digital device called a Sky Quality Mater (SQM);
  • The use of the Loss of the Night app on Android phones, which asks you to find certain stars as a measure of star visibility; or 
  • The use of the Dark Sky Meter app on iPhone 4s/iPhone 5, which uses the phone's camera to measure night sky brightness.

The easy steps to participating in the campaign are listed at here.

GaN2013flat world mapGlobe at Night holds an abundance of background information, such as helpful resources and tools from finding the constellations used in the campaign, to understanding concepts like light pollution, to games that test your expertise in choosing the faintest star visible (e.g., the “limiting magnitude”). “Dark Skies Rangers” activities used in grades 4-14 provide a foundational basis for and extensions to the Globe at Night campaign. You can also explore the last 8 years of data with our interactive map. Or use our “map app” to see how your city or any area in the world did this year or how it has changed over time. Or you can compare Globe at Night data with a variety of other databases, to see, for example, how light pollution affects the foraging habits of bats. 

GaN InfoSince its inception in 2006, about 105,000 measurements from 115 countries have been reported.  For 2014 the Globe at Night campaign is offered each month of the year. Since the Moon is a natural light bulb in the night sky we would like to avoid, the 10-day observation window each month has been chosen so the Moon will not be up at least an hour after sunset to about 10pm. The remaining campaign dates are: March 21-30, April 20-29, May 19-28, June 17-26, July 16-25, August 15-24, September 15-24, October 14-23, November 12-21 and December 11-20. …We look forward to your joining the campaign and/or playing with the data. Enjoy!

If you are super keen, you could consider coordinating an Adopt-A-Street program in your area during the Globe at Night campaign. The aim of the Adopt-A-Street program is for people to adopt a different major or semi-major street and take measurements every mile or so for the length of the street (or for as long as they can). The grid of measurements will canvas the town, allowing for research later in comparison to wildlife, health, energy consumption and cost, among other things.

For more information and details on how to participate, visit Globe at Night.  

Follow the Dark Skies Awareness blog and check out these Dark Sky Rangers Resources.

Share your experience with the world on Facebook or the Flickr group and Tweet using #GAM2014. Follow @gam_awb and @GlobeAtNight.