Stars in your eyes

10th Jan 2011

Please take part in Star Count Week, to help CPRE show how light pollution is affecting the view of the night sky across the UK.

Between Monday 31 January and Sunday 6 February, we're asking people to count the number of stars they can see within the constellation of Orion. CPRE nationally is running the Star Count in partnership with the British Astronomical Association's Campaign for Dark Skies, and the results will be used to make a Star Count map  which will show how light pollution is spoiling views of the UK's night skies.

Choose any night during the Star Count week, but the sky needs to be clear so that there's a good chance to see some stars. Also, look after 7pm so that it's dark enough. Then count the number of stars within Orion in the southern night sky - the same direction that a domestic satellite dish faces. Orion's main area is bounded by four bright stars, and your count should not include these. Do include Orion's belt, though - the three stars in the middle.

You can see a diagram on CPRE's national website. Please count stars seen with the naked eye (not with telescopes or binoculars) and then fill in the online survey form. You can also send your star count (plus time, date and location) to Star Count, Campaign for Dark Skies, 38 The Vineries, Colehill, Wimborne BH21 2PX.