2021 February 5
Star Count 2021
Dark starry skies are a beautiful sight, and a distinctive feature of the countryside. But too often, light pollution means that many of us can’t see the stars. To celebrate our starry skies and to help to protect our view of the stars, CPRE, the countryside charity is inviting the nation to be ‘citizen scientists’ and take part in Star Count 2021 – a cosmic census that will help map our view of the stars and the impact of light pollution across the country.
This year, given the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown, we’re asking people to take part from home only, and to not travel to take part. This could mean taking part from a garden, balcony, doorstep or even bedroom window.
Stargazers will be asked to count the number of stars they can see from home (with the naked eye) within the constellation of Orion, and submit their count on the CPRE website at https://www.cpre.org.uk/what-we-care-about/nature-and-landscapes/dark-skies/star-count-2021/
You don’t need a telescope or any equipment to take part. The number of stars visible within the constellation of Orion is a good measurement of the amount of light pollution, and can be compared with previous years’ data to show how our ability to see truly starry skies is changing. We’ll also use the data to produce an interactive map of the nation’s view of the stars.
Star Count will take place during the darkest skies from Saturday 6 February – Sunday 14 February, inclusive. Star Count is taking place with support from the British Astronomical Association’s Commission for Dark Skies.