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to Promote Dark Skies Awareness:

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Presentation on theme: "to Promote Dark Skies Awareness:"— Presentation transcript:

1 to Promote Dark Skies Awareness:
For Local Leaders of Dark Sky Advocacy… Outreach You Can Do to Promote Dark Skies Awareness: GLOBE at Night Connie Walker (National Optical Astronomy Observatory) and the "GaN" Team January 20, 2011 NSN2011 Telecon 1

2 National Optical Astronomy Observatory
Cerro Tololo Inter- American Observatory Kitt Peak National Observatory This composite image on the right, taken at Kitt Peak National Observatory, outlines the Kepler satellite field of view, and within it, a circle marks the location of the faintest Kepler Mission host star yet, a G8 dwarf star harboring a 1.12 Jupiter-size exoplanet in a 3.9 day orbit. (reported by Howell et al in the Astrophysical Journal, accepted for publication in October, 2010) Ground-based confirmation of this planet involved three different telescopes on Kitt Peak: the 2.1-meter, the 4-meter and the WIYN telescope. About the picture: 
The sky was photographed using a diffraction grating (Glaspey): spectra are visible on either side of the bright stars, the telescopes were imaged separately (Marenfeld) and later combined with the sky image. The sky image was taken with a Canon Digital Rebel using an 18 mm lens with a diffraction grating filter to create the spectra. The exposure was 122 sec at f/4.0 using ISO 1600. Minimum credit line: J. Glaspey, P. Marenfeld & NOAO/AURA/NSF

3 A global problem that people can help solve locally…
Light pollution is artificial night sky brightness, directed up toward the sky and wasted. The International Dark-Sky Association estimates that one-third of outdoor lighting escapes unused into space, causing light pollution. Under an unpolluted sky we ought to see 5000 stars, yet we see only a couple hundred from most suburban areas. Two thirds of all US citizens cannot see the Milky Way galaxy from where they live. 2008 marked the first year half of the world’s population lived in cities. As you can see in this nighttime image of the world, cities are traced by the light pollution they produce. Here you can imagine the world as ever-growing urban constellations, diminishing our ability to see the stellar constellations. Is this the heritage we want to leave our children? The good news is that although light pollution is a global issue, it has local solutions. The first step is to make people more aware of this global issue and that they can be part of the local solutions. This is where you as amateur astronomers come in and can help significantly by providing outreach to the public, especially w/all of the outreach you do and all of the knowledge and skills you possess.

4 How to bring awareness and a desire to slow down the
increase in light pollution? (Cinzano, Falchi, and Elvidge 2001)

5 Questions to Consider How do you explain to city dwellers the importance of what they’ve lost to artificial sky glow? How can you make them aware that light pollution is a concern on many fronts: safety, energy conservation, cost, health and effects on wildlife, as well as our ability to view the stars? How do you convince them that it’s worthwhile to take steps, even small ones, to help redress this issue?

6 Light Pollution Education at NOAO
Students in Grades K-12, Teachers, General Public Both formal and informal settings GLOBE at Night Campaign Dark Skies Rangers activities

7 GLOBE at Night
Citizen-scientists record the brightness of the night sky by matching its appearance toward the constellation Orion with star maps of progressively fainter stars. GLOBE at Night was also one of the flagship programs for the Dark Skies Awareness Cornerstone Project for the International Year of Astronomy. Measurements are submitted on-line and resulting maps of all worldwide observations are created. Over the last 5 annual two-week GLOBE at Night campaigns, 52,000 measurements have been contributed from over 100 countries.

8 GLOBE at Night Website
5 step citizen science program – simple to participate Background information on key concepts Interactive games Fun quizzes to check proficiency Teacher and Family Guides in 14 different languages Postcards, flyers en español también! Report page Map page with data in various formats

9 Match Night Sky to a Magnitude Chart.
Estimate cloud coverage. Fill out the observation sheet.

10 A more technically accurate approach: using Sky Quality Meters
Press start button here: Light enters here: Read-out numbers here:

11 Simple Report Form Tablet/Pad Cell Phone Desktop/ Laptop
Date and Time Tablet/Pad Cell Phone Location Orion data Desktop/ Laptop Cloudiness and SQM data

12 Measurements are downloadable as datasets in various formats
can be examined online via Google Earth or other tools used as the basis of research in a class- room or science fair project or even to inform the development of public policy

13 Dark Skies Ranger Activities www. darkskiesawareness
Dark Skies Ranger Activities Explorer Light Shielding Demo School Outdoor Lighting Audit Student Symposium Protector Turtle Hatching Activity Wildlife Activity (Insects) Advocate Magnitude Reader Finding Orion, Leo, etc. A Star Hunt Campaign. Ranger (Students present results.)

14 14

15 Dark Skies Education Kits (600 kits distributed)
Materials for a light shielding demonstration Dark Skies Ranger activities Dark Skies Education & GLOBE at Night resources on CD and 2 DVDs Advertising materials (postcards, poster, flyers, etc) Children’s Book: “There Once was a Sky Full of Stars” Quiet Skies Activity (AM radio & fan) Sky Quality Meter (optional)

16 Shielding Helps Minimize Light Pollution

17 Types of Lamps High Intensity Discharge Incandescent Fluorescent
Light Emitting Diode (LED) High Intensity Discharge LED Fluorescent “Lamp” is a lighting industry term for an electric light bulb, tube, or other lighting device. INCANDESCENT Most common in homes It uses electric current to heat a tiny coil of tungsten metal inside a glass bulb to produce light. Have short lives Convert most of their energy into heat rather than light FLUORESCENT A fluorescent lamp contains mercury that is ionized by an electric arc, producing ultraviolet energy which, in turn, causes a phosphor coating inside the lamp to fluoresce. Fluorescent lighting needs to be disposed of properly when it is not longer in use. Most cities have a recycling program where people can safely dispose of the burned out bulbs. Used mostly in commercial settings 3 to 4 times more efficient than incandescent, and lasts 10 times longer Produces up to 100 lumens per watt (approximately) LED technology is still relatively new and has not been installed on a wide basis yet. HIGH INTENSITY DISCHARGE LIGHTS A high intensity discharge lamp (HID): produces light directly from an arc discharge under high pressure. This include: Metal halide, high pressure sodium and mercury vapor are types of HID lamps. Used mainly for large area applications Provide higher efficacy and longer service life Most common types are mercury vapor (MV), metal halide (MH), and high- pressure sodium (HPS) Metal Halide: 100/lumens per watt HPS: up to 150/lumens per watt MV: being phased out LPS = low pressure sodium lights Also considered a high intensity discharge lamp, but it has some unique characteristics. Used in outdoor applications Most efficient form of artificial lighting according to IDA Maintain its light output better than other lamps Older technology, not many manufacturers producing new product Produces up to 200/lumens per watt Lumens is the overall output of the luminaire. Lumens is a measure of the power of light as perceived by the human eye. It reflects the varying sensitivity of the human eye to different wavelengths of light. Luminous efficacy of radiation measures the fraction of electromagnetic power which is useful for lighting. Efficacy is lumens per watt Incandescent High Intensity Discharge Compact Fluorescent Lamp

18 Unshielded and Shielded Lighting
These two ball fields show a good contrast between unshielded and shielded lighting. The field on the left is producing glare and so much of its light is wasted going into the sky. The field on the right has much less impact on the surrounding area because it is only lighting the field, not the neighborhood. Which one would you rather live next to?

19 The Difference Retrofitting Luminaires Can Make
The community of Monte Patria, Chile

20 Lighting Responsibly Shine the light down.
See the effect, not the source. Light only where and when needed. Don’t over light. Use energy efficient sources.

21 3 Main Types of Light Pollution Light Trespass Glare Sky Glow

22 Energy, Safety & Security
The Effects on… Astronomical Research Energy, Safety & Security Human Health Wildlife

23 Data Analysis Comparison of data over time (changes, trends)
Comparison to data on population density Search for dark sky oases Monitor ordinance compliance Effects of light pollution on animals or plants Effects on human health Effects on safety, security, energy consumption, cost Tucson, Arizona, USA

24 Students Ask: How Much of the Night Sky Have We Already Lost?
5 km North Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation (District) near South Bend, IN.

25 City Lighting Inventory by High Schoolers & Amateur Astronomers
The community of Norman, Oklahoma 1 km

26 GLOBE at Night Data 2006-2010 2500 Orion data points plus
500 SQM data points for Tucson, AZ

27 Contour Map of GaN Data (2006-2010)

28 GLOBE at Night + Bat Telemetry Data

29 Bat Telemetry Data + City Ordinance Zones

30 Looking Toward the Future by Building...
An on-line community with Facebook and Twitter – done! On-line tutorials of the Dark Skies Rangers activities – half way done! A web application to submit GLOBE at Night data using mobile devices – help us test the app! More monthly campaigns – on their way! A user-friendly analysis tool on the GLOBE at Night website (WWT & WGBH) – a bright future!

31 GLOBE at Night Needs You...
Mag To take GLOBE at Night data during both campaigns. To teach and encourage children and adults to take GLOBE at Night measurements. To become a local coordinator that would work with people at a starparty, or in a classroom or 2 or 3... or with visitors at a local park on their participation in the GLOBE at Night campaign. To do the Dark Skies Rangers activities with students to teach them about light pollution issues and lighting responsibly. To use the GLOBE at Night data with other data sets. To work with the IDA in preserving dark skies. To do it all. 

32 GLOBE at Night Campaign 2011
February 21 to March 6 for both Northern and Southern Hemispheres Uses Orion. March 22 to April 4 for Northern Hemisphere Uses Leo. March 24 to April 6 for Southern Hemisphere Uses Leo or Crux.

33 Further Information Websites of interest:
gers/ Can go to the web app webpage or you can get there directly with the QR bar code. To read the bar code, there are some Free apps for: iPhone: RedLaser Android: Barcode Scanner Blackberry: QR Code Scanner Pro iPhone, Android or Blackberry? Scan the QR Code above to go directly to the beta version of the GLOBE at Night data submission web app. Contact: Connie Walker GLOBE at Night Director or

34 Sponsoring Institutions
GLOBE at Night ( has been a collaboration between the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) in Tucson, AZ; The Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program, in Boulder, CO; the Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. (ESRI) in Redlands, CA; the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) in Tucson, AZ; and the Centro de Apoyo a la Didactica de la Astronomia (CADIAS) in Altovalsol, Chile. Other partners include the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, the American Astronomical Society, the Astronomical League, Astronomers Without Borders, The World At Night, and Let There Be Night,org.

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