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Friday, October 29, 2010

Great World-Wide Star Count UPDATED

Tonight begins the annual Great World Wide Star Count! It runs through November 12th, and is an excellent opportunity for amateur astronomers all over the world to collect data for determining the extent of regional light pollution. 
Star Count

All you need to do is go outside, look at a constellation (Cygnus if you're in the northern hemisphere, Sagittarius if you're in the southern hemisphere) and compare what you see with the diagrams provided. Then correlate this with the time and your location (by GPS or Google Earth) and submit your data to the good folk at Windows to the Universe, a subsidiary of NESTA (the National Earth Science Teachers Association). Here is the pdf of the Activity Guide:  
Star Count Activity Guide

UPDATE: If you use Google Earth and cut-and-paste your decimal latitude and longitude from it into the blocks on the Reporting page, you must delete the degree symbols on both or it won't be able to recognize the string of numbers as a latitude or longitude.

Incidentally, from the park by my house I could see fourth magnitude stars in Cygnus.

And a really lovely meteor, probably part of the Orionid shower, although it was awfully early in the evening. 

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