Public participation in light pollution surveys

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Dan Hillier
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Location: Royal Observatory Edinburgh Visito Centre
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Public participation in light pollution surveys

Post by Dan Hillier »

Can anyone point me towards any materials that have been written to help relatively novice observers carry out local light pollution surveys? I am thinking of running this as an education project but I havent yet found any materials that look robust and simple to use.

And has anyone tried this themselves?

thanks

Dan

krang2k
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Post by krang2k »

I'm not sure which website I read about this but it was basically a bloke in America. He (as we all are) was fed up with the light pollution in his town, so after all the letters etc he decided to take some pictures at night, and push all of the light pollution angles especially the health & safety (e.g street lights in drivers eyes etc) then tried to do a little twist on the national survay idea.

He designed all of these postcards withh all the majour effects of light pollution on one side and on the other a space for people to sign if they agreed there was a problem. As all of the postcards came pre-addressed with the local councils address all people had to do was post them.

The council then had hundreds of postcards showing from people who demanded a reduction in light pollution. Then the council passed laws to restrict the light from bill boards, all new buildings/carparks etc needed to lighting which didnt allow light to escape and the council pro actively changed all of the current lighting around his town.

If I find the sight ill let you know where it was.

krang2k
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Post by krang2k »

FOUND IT :D
http://skytonight.com/resources/darksky ... page=2&c=y

Found another one slightly closer to home.
http://www.drastronomy.com/lpac/How_to_ ... cards.html

I wonder how many other people on here are interested in this. Is this somthing SPA would get involved in or even lead, maybe its an idea we could pitch too the IDA or CPRE????

stella
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Post by stella »

Hi Dan,
If anyone has published suitable material, it will be Bob Mizon:

Bob Mizon is UK co-ordinator of the British Astronomical Association's Campaign for Dark Skies, which aims to turn back the tide of light pollution which has seriously affected our view of the stars over the last fifty years, and also addresses the related problems of light trespass and energy waste. Bob has taught astronomy to students of all ages since 1971. Since 1996, he has provided a full-time mobile planetarium service to south central England, and has taken the experience of the night sky to nearly 60,000 people, mostly schoolchildren.

JohnM
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Post by JohnM »

There is a worldwide survey of light pollution next March details on http://www.globe.gov/GaN/index.html

In addition there should be some material out there but normally it is the analysis that is difficult - I beleive there was a survey done involving the number of stars sen through the cardboard tube from a toilet roll but I don't think the results were ever analysed and published.

The other way of carrying out a survey is to count the stars in a certain area such as the square of Pegasus that can be seen with the dark adapted unaided eye. However a lot of work needs to be done to eliminate the effects of Observer Eyesight and also weather conditions.
Engineer @ Work - Astronomer @ Play

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