Published On: Sun, Mar 2nd, 2014 on 3:18 pm

Stargazers looking to the skies call on councils to tackle light pollution

Light Pollution

Light pollution in the UK. Image courtesy: Darren Baskill

More than 170 stargazing events are taking place around the country as campaigners are urging the public to join in a cosmic census to help tackle light pollution.

In partnership with National Astronomy Week, Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and the British Astronomical Association’s Campaign for Dark Skies, is urging people to count the number of stars they can see with the naked eye in the constellation of Orion.

The results of the Star Count 2014 will then be used to find out which part of the country has the darkest skies where the most stars can be seen, hereby helping highlight the problem of light pollution.

Last year, results indicated severe light pollution in the Yorkshire region, as 55% of people who did the survey were able to spot fewer than ten stars in the night sky during National Astronomy Week.

It was an issue that CPRE felt strongly about, who are now campaigning to urge local councils, manufacturers, builders, retailers and households, to play their part in reducing the amount of light they emit.

Emma Marrington, CPRE Dark Skies campaigner, said: “We’ll use the results that local people submit to persuade Ministers and local councils to reduce light pollution.

“This will also help cut carbon emissions and save money through streetlight switch-off or dimming schemes and low energy lighting. If we’re to reclaim our wondrous night skies, we need all councils to take action.”

Stargazers from across Yorkshire are being urged to count the number of stars they can see with the naked eye within the constellation of Orion any night between 26 February and 8 March, and submit their results.

It is recommended for everyone to observe after 7pm so the sky is sufficiently dark, on a night when the sky is clear, with no haze or clouds.

If you can see less than ten stars within the constellation, it indicates severe light pollution.

To find out more information about Star Count 2014, where to look, or submit your results, please visit www.cpre.org.uk/starcount.

About the Author

Hasan Faridi

- Hasan is the founder and editor-in chief of the Yorkshire Standard. A BA Hons graduate from the University of Huddersfield, he has over four years of experience in newspapers, magazines and radio.

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