Collecting Data for Globe at Night

In Saguaro National Park East just outside of Tucson, Arizona, Connie Walker collects data for Globe at Night — a citizen science project aimed at tracking and reporting the impact of light pollution on the visibility of the night sky. She and Steve Pompea, scientist emeritus at NSF’s NOIRLab, created the project in 2006, with an easy to use web-application. Over 17 years Globe at Night has gathered extensive data on stellar visibility through the collective efforts of over 250,000 people around the world. In January 2023 a paper was published in the journal Science that analyzed Globe at Night’s user-submitted data and found that skyglow is increasing more rapidly than indicated by satellite measurements of the Earth’s nighttime surface brightness.

Globe at Night is one of the many activities that NOIRLab supports to protect the night sky. In February 2022, NSF’s NOIRLab and the SKA Observatory (SKAO), an intergovernmental organization headquartered in the UK, were named co-hosts of the newly established IAU Centre for the Protection of the Dark and Quiet Sky from Satellite Constellation Interference. The center concentrates on mitigating the negative interference caused by the large satellite constellations. As well as co-hosting the IAU Center, NOIRLab continues to work at different levels to counter the negative effects of all kinds of light pollution through programs and initiatives local to all our sites and host communities.


NOIRLab/NSF/AURA/R. Sparks & P. Marenfeld

About the Image

Release date:July 12, 2023, noon
Size:5472 x 3648 px

About the Object

Name:Dark Skies
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