GLOBE at Night

I’ve learned a new expression: a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizen_science”Citizen Science/a. This means that interested people do contribute to a research project, either by collecting data, or by allocating computing time of their PCs to contribute to the analysis of huge sets of raw data – a href=”http://setiathome.ssl.berkeley.edu/”SETI@Home/a is an example of the latter kind of Citizen Science. Sabine and I talked about this some days ago, and just then, I came across a wonderful example of the former kind of Citizen Science: a href=”http://www.globe.gov/GaN/index.html”GLOBE at Night/a.br /br /The idea of this project is to establish a map of “a href=”http://www.globe.gov/GaN/learn_light.html”light pollution/a”, the iillumination of the night sky caused by artificial light sources on the ground/i. Light pollution is nuisance to everyone who wants to marvel at the stars, and it can be harmful to the biology and ecology of animals in the wild. br /br /To map the extent of light pollution over the planet, participants of GLOBE at night are just asked to look at the constellation of a href=”http://www.globe.gov/GaN/learn_findorion.html”Orion/a and report what they see. Yesterday night, what I could see from the patio was something like this:br /br /a onblur=”try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}” href=”http://www.globe.gov/GaN/observe_magnitude.html”img style=”display:block; margin:0px auto 10px; text-align:center;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 208px; height: 164px;” src=”http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_AWa1cp-Somo/SbmpxKfxULI/AAAAAAAAAYs/R1DZ1n3VQt4/s320/GatN_40N_m3_b.jpg” border=”0″ alt=””id=”BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5312463897556504754″ //abr /which means visibility of stars corresponding to a a href=”http://www.globe.gov/GaN/observe_magnitude.html”Magnitude 3 Chart/a. But then, this result may have been skewed a bit, as there was a huge natural source of light pollution – the nearly full moon. To avoid this interference by the moonlight, the actual observation period is scheduled towards the next New Moon, between March 16 and March 28.br /br /So, we all can become “Citizen Scientists”, by a href=”http://www.globe.gov/GaN/report.html”reporting our view of Orion/a to the GLOBE at night! I just hope my view will soon be better again than tonight:br /br /a onblur=”try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}” href=”http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_AWa1cp-Somo/SbmqMhsfTvI/AAAAAAAAAY0/n0zRwO40waA/s1600-h/GatN_c_small.jpg”img style=”display:block; margin:0px auto 10px; text-align:center;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 208px; height: 144px;” src=”http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_AWa1cp-Somo/SbmqMhsfTvI/AAAAAAAAAY0/n0zRwO40waA/s320/GatN_c_small.jpg” border=”0″ alt=””id=”BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5312464367640334066″ //acentersmallCloudy Sky./small/centerbr /br /hr noshadebr /smallTags: a href=”http://technorati.com/tag/astronomy” rel=”tag”Astronomy/a, a href=”http://technorati.com/tag/light+pollution” rel=”tag”Light Pollution/a, a href=”http://technorati.com/tag/citizen+science” rel=”tag”Citizen Science/a/smalldiv class=”blogger-post-footer””You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother.” ~ Albert Einsteinimg width=’1′ height=’1′ src=’http://res1.blogblog.com/tracker/22973357-1763318642381218882?l=backreaction.blogspot.com’//div

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