2007 GSA Denver Annual Meeting (28–31 October 2007)

Paper No. 4
Presentation Time: 2:35 PM


POMPEA, Stephen M., National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 N. Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85719, spompea@noao.edu

The GLOBE at Night 2007 citizen-science campaign generated measurements of the world's dark (and not so dark) skies. The program also successfully demonstrated a prototype digital data-collection effort that aims to grow to a global scale by 2009 during the International Year of Astronomy. The classic GLOBE at Night program shows students, families, and the general public how to observe and record the number of stars visible in the constellation Orion, as seen from different locations. Observers report their results online by comparing their view of Orion with a set of template images on the program's Web site.

The classic campaign produced measurements from 60 countries during the March 8-21, 2007 observing period. The 2007 measurements came from all 50 states except North Dakota. About 65 percent of the 2007 measurements were from the United States. A digital effort was led by educational outreach staff of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory to obtain precise measurements of urban dark skies using digital sky-brightness meters. The GLOBE at Night program is designed to aid teaching about the impact of artificial lighting on local environments, and the ongoing loss of a dark night sky as a natural resource for much of the world's population. The level and quality of artificial lighting around the world has effects on energy use, public safety, human and animal health, and the ability of the general public and astronomers to share in the beauty of the night sky.

The GLOBE at Night Web site is at www.globe.gov/globeatnight. GLOBE at Night is a collaboration among The Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program, Boulder, CO; the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) in Tucson, AZ; Centro de Apoyo a la Didactica de la Astronomia (CADIAS) in Chile; Windows to the Universe/UCAR; Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. (ESRI); and the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA).

This program was partially funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. NOAO is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.