Star count to reveal lockdown’s impact on light pollution

Star count to reveal lockdown’s impact on light pollution

News January 28, 2021
Star count to reveal lockdown’s impact on light pollution

People are being urged to take part in an annual Star Count to record our view of the night sky. CPRE, the countryside charity is working with the British Astronomical Association’s Commission for Dark Skies to find indications of light pollution levels across the country.

By counting the number of stars they see in the Orion constellation, citizen scientists will help map the best and worst places in England to enjoy a star-filled night sky. The results will indicate which parts of Nottinghamshire suffer from severe light pollution, of which 61% of last year’s participants did.

They will also be compared with 2020’s findings, gathered before coronavirus restrictions took hold, to see whether lockdown has had an impact.

Light pollution means many people only experience a limited view of the night sky, and it also disrupts wildlife’s natural patterns. By showing where people’s views are most affected by light pollution, CPRE can use this evidence in crucial lobbying efforts to protect and enhance the skies of Nottinghamshire improving our health, wellbeing, wildlife and the environment.

Crispin Truman, chief executive of CPRE, the countryside charity, said:

‘A starry night sky is one of the most magical sights the countryside can offer, connecting us to the nature we all love and the wonders of the wider universe. Dark skies are also crucial for our health and for that of wildlife. Lockdown and the coronavirus have reminded us about how good for us the countryside can be.

‘But many places suffer from light pollution, bleaching out the night sky. We want to change this. By taking part in Star Count, people will be contributing to citizen science, helping us to lobby the government for more protection of this too often overlooked, but vital, part of our countryside’.

Speaking on the importance of Star Count, Neill Sanders of Go Stargazing, said:

“There’s only one thing I like more than to look through my telescope, and that is for other people to look through it! My ambition is to encourage people’s interest in astronomy by getting them involved in the practical side — going outdoors and enjoying views of starry skies.

‘I’m extremely pleased to be once again supporting CPRE and their annual Star Count… It’s a match made in the heavens!’

Sign up to take part >>> https://takeaction.cpre.org.uk/page/73245/data/1…

Published January 2021