Wednesday, March 18, 2009

How many stars can you see?

ASC/NASA/GSFC: Through next week, the GLOBE at Night project invites people from all over the world to go outside at night, look up, and see! 

Specifically, people are invited to go out an hour after sunset and look toward the west for the constellation Orion. Rather than count Orion's stars directly, the GLOBE at Night website has made things easier by providing several star charts for comparing your view of Orion. Possible matches extend from a bright sky where only a few Orion stars are visible, to a very dark sky where over 100 Orion stars can be seen. 

Pictured above are results from last year's sky observation campaign. Because 2009 is the International Year of Astronomy, it is hoped that an even better map can be created this year, for a better understanding of how light pollution is changing over our planet. 
Image source here.