[The following is an exact transcript of this podcast.]
We humans have always pondered the heavens. Astronomy and physics have come out of our wonder at the points of light in the darkness. Scientists now want to take advantage of that natural nightly gaze. They’re turning to citizen scientists to count stars as a way to measure light pollution.
The project will take place from October 20th to November 3. It’s sponsored by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research. Interested volunteers in the northern hemisphere will search for the constellation Cygnus. In the southern hemisphere they’ll be looking for Sagittarius.
Participants can search the skies outside their homes or in a darker area nearby. Scientists use this information to compare visibility around the world. Not surprisingly, last year they found that more developed areas have higher levels of light pollution. But the project has a second goal. The astronomers want to remind us all to take a moment to appreciate the beauty and wonder of the night sky. Information about how to participate can be found at the Great Worldwide Star Count website: www.snipurl.com/starcount