Light pollution, i.e., light from windows, cars, and outdoor bulbs that brightens the sky, is an increasing problem that disrupts animal migrations, reproductive timing, and sleeping patterns, including our own sleep. For humans, too much light at night has also been found to cause headaches and anxiety. Plus, much of it is a result of wasted energy.
Globe at Night works with citizen scientists in 180 countries who have contributed observations over the past 12 years. This data collection has allowed researchers to not only determine light pollution in different locales but over time, permitting them to correlate the data with studies of animal behavior changes and city health reports.
To help, no prior experience or knowledge of the constellations is needed. Globe at Night will provide you a chart of bright stars that you should be able to see. After the sun sets, you’ll go outside, let your eyes adjust to the night sky for ten minutes, and then spend five minutes noting which of the stars you can see, plus any haze, clouds, or noticeable light glow. Your data will add to this dynamic map of light pollution for the entire world.