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Friday, May 19 • 9:30pm - 11:00pm
Globe At Night - Rate the Brightness of the Night Sky!

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Sometimes what we lose can be just as important as what we gain. The loss of something that has influenced our culture for millennia can change our culture's perspective of the world around us. Yet if change happens slowly, we may not realize we have lost anything. Case in point: what if a starry night sky had never inspired Van Gogh to paint "Starry Night" or Holst to compose "The Planets" or Shakespeare write sonnets that encompass astronomy? Citizen-science is a rewardingly inclusive way to bring awareness to the public on important issues like the disappearing starry night sky, its causes and solutions. Citizen-science can also provide meaningful, hands-on, minds-on "science process" experiences for the general public. One program that does both is Globe at Night  (www.globeatnight.org), an international campaign to raise public awareness of the impact of light pollution by having people measure night-sky brightness and submit observations from a computer or smart phone. People use the data to monitor levels of light pollution around the world, as well as understand light pollution's effects on energy consumption, plants, wildlife, human health and our ability to enjoy a starry night sky. Projects have compared Globe at Night data with ground-truthing using meters for an energy audit as well as with data on birds, population density, satellite data and trends over time. Globe at Night allows us to teach our children to be better stewards for tomorrow, to learn to light more responsibly and that the solutions are simple and feasible.

Come join us on Friday night (after the Night in the Cloud Closing Reception) and become part of the Globe at Night Family. Handouts on how to easily participate in the Globe at Night campaigns will be available at the Globe at Night booth (“Societal Contributions to Globe at Night Observations in the Last 10 Years”) at the closing reception. For more information about the ongoing citizen-science campaigns, see the poster “Globe at Night: Many Hands Make Light Work” on Thursday. The Globe at Night director (Connie Walker) will be at the poster from 12:15-1:45 on Thursday.

Volunteers who want to be scientists for the night: here is what you will be doing: please have a smart phone of any type and go to www.globeatnight.org/webapp/ which is the report page you will use to rate the brightness of your night sky. Then go outside after 9:30pm but before 11pm and stand as far away as you can from city lights. Look southwest (to west) about a third to halfway up the sky from the ground. You will notice a backwards question mark. That is the mane of the lion. The dot in the backwards question mark is the bright star, Regulus. To the left are three stars that form a triangle, which are the lion’s backend. The area described is the constellation, Leo, with which you will be comparing to the 8 star charts on the report page “app”.  Follow the 6 simple steps outlined in the report page “app” and you will have made a difference in helping scientists to monitor the levels of light pollution worldwide!

Starry night skies to you!
The Globe at Night Team

Friday May 19, 2017 9:30pm - 11:00pm CDT
Offsite - depart from Intercontinental Hotel