Stargazing : Citizen Science Annual STAR COUNT

Thank you to everyone who took part in the Big Garden Bird Count. It has been lovely to speak to all the teachers at school and hear about all the different classes’ findings. I hope to add some surveys and photographs to this blog soon.

Here is another opportunity to take part in some very important research by taking part in the Annual Star Count. I hope the skies clear before the end of the week so that you can wrap up warm and go and do your stargazing. Read on to find out more:

Each year, CPRE asks the nation to help measure light pollution in their area by getting starry-eyed with us and counting visible stars. Ready to help out and have fun?

Click on the link to find out more:

Star Count: a lockdown-friendly stargazing activity for the whole family

What is Star Count?

The best way to see how many stars we can all see in the sky is… to count them! So we’re asking people from all across the country to become citizen scientists and look heavenwards from home for one night. Join in by choosing a clear night between 6-14 February 2021, looking up at the constellation of Orion and letting us know how many stars you can spot.

This year we’re asking everyone to take part from home. You can stargaze from your garden, balcony, doorstep or even bedroom window.

Star Count is supported by the British Astronomical Association.

How to take part in Star Count

Here are our top tips for a brilliant Star Count evening:

Remember that we’re counting stars from 6-14 February 2021, so choose a night!

      1. Keep an eye on the weather forecasts for the week ahead. Remember: your safety and health are the most important things, so stay at home for your star counting this year.
      2. Pick the clearest night for your count, with no haze or clouds, then wait until after 7pm so that the sky is really dark. Turn off all the lights in your house, too, to make it easier to see the stars.
      3. Looking south into the night sky, find the Orion constellation, with its four corners and ‘belt’.
      4. Take a few moments to let your eyes adjust, then count the number of stars you can see within the rectangle formed by the four corner stars. You can count the three stars in the middle – the belt – but not the corner stars.
      5. Make a note of the number of stars seen with the naked eye (not with telescopes or binoculars) and then submit your count to us here.
      6. Share your experiences (and any photos) with others on social media using #StarCount
      7. And don’t forget to check back here in the spring to see the national results and how your area compares to the rest of the country.
Diagram showing the Orion constellation outlined
Keep your eyes peeled for how many stars you can make out within Orion | CPRE

Have fun! Stay warm and stay safe! Let me know how many you and your family count.


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