February 26, 2010

The 2010 Globe at Night observing event March 3-16

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GLOBE at Night is an annual 2-week campaign in March. People all over the world record the brightness of their night sky by matching its appearance toward the constellation Orion with star maps of progressively fainter stars. They submit their measurements on-line and a few weeks later, organizers release a map of light-pollution levels worldwide. Over the last four GLOBE at Night campaigns, volunteers from over 100 nations have contributed 35,000 measurements.

To learn more about how you can participate and enjoy some time under the stars click above to visit the Globe at Night website.

Last year more than 3,400 students at the Penn-Harris-Madison school district in northern Indiana participated in this citizen-scientist project asking “How much of the night sky have we already lost?” with their participation in “GaN”. Wouldn’t a similar effort in your community be a great project to stimulate interest in science and the joy of observing the night sky for the kids in your area? Learn more by visiting Let There Be Night

For more information on how your group or school can participate email me.

As a resident of Harrison county, Indiana I wonder when our county leaders will enact a responsible lighting ordinance and stop wasting thousands of taxpayer dollars on poorly designed, inefficient indoor and outdoor lighting at county facilities. Harrison county residents waste over 3 million kilowatt hours of energy each year with poorly designed outdoor “security” lighting which creates light trespass across property lines, creates safety hazards with glare across roadways and into intersections and casts a hazy yellow skyglow obliterating the night time view of the sky.

The “Harrison County Vision Statement” which is part of the 2008 Harrison County Comprehensive Plans states “Preserve and protect the natural resources of Harrison County for the use and enjoyment of future generations” as one of it’s primary goals. Who are we kidding here? Recently I have been able to see the “light dome” above Corydon from my home in Elizabeth, 18 miles distant. I suggest residents of Harrison county should take their County Commisioners to task and ask them why they are doing little or nothing to “protect the natural resources” of the county and wasting thousands, if not tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars operating inefficent indoor and outdoor lighting at county facilities. Contact them here: James Goldman, Buck Mathes, Terry Miller.

I have discussed this issue with Miller for nearly a decade without any action on his part.

Other links:

Dark Skies Rangers

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