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Star Count Week

February 3rd| Michael Mountford

Star Count Week

What is it?

Star Count is an annual event in which CPRE asks the general public to go out into their gardens between a certain date and look out to the constellation of Orion and count how many stars they can see.

The more people that get involved each year means that the data points can be more accurate. The data collected from each area is used to correlate which areas have the most light pollution so that CPRE can work with local councils and other authorities to decide what to do about it.

Last Years Data

After each years Star Count, CPRE publish their findings and for 2020 they created an interactive map.

An incredible 2,500 people took part, braving the rain and cold to count over 27,000 stars over the course of one week.

If you would like to take a closer look- take a look here!

How to take part?

‘We’d like to see councils adopting better policies in local plans to tackle light pollution and protect and enhance our darkest skies where people can still experience the wonder of a star-filled night sky. There are straightforward steps councils can take, in consultation with local people, that don’t just reduce light pollution but save energy and money too.’

Crispin- CPRE

Take part in Star Count 2021 to have fun, do your bit for dark skies and gather data for your local area. It’ll be taking place over a week during February 2021 and is the perfect lockdown activity to do from home. Sign up to be kept informed!

And of course, keep an eye out for CPRE’s campaigns and advocacy work around dark skies here on their website, or sign up for their regular emails to hear updates on all our work. In the meantime, keep stargazing! Want inspiration? Take a look at some of their top tips for some of the best places to get starry-eyed. Enjoy!

Top Tips For Taking Part

  1. Make a note of the dates, 6-14 February 2021, and keep an eye on the weather forecasts as the week approaches. Remember: safety and health are the most important things, so stay at home for your star counting this year.
  2. Try to pick a clear night for your count, with no haze or clouds, then wait until after 7pm so that the sky is really dark. Turn off all the lights in your house, too, to make it easier to see the stars.
  3. Looking south into the night sky, find the Orion constellation, with its four corners and ‘belt’.
  4. Take a few moments to let your eyes adjust, then count the number of stars you can see within the rectangle formed by the four corner stars. You can count the three stars in the middle – the belt – but not the corner stars.
  5. Make a note of the number of stars seen with the naked eye (not with telescopes or binoculars) and then submit your count on their website.
  6. Share your experiences (and any photos) with others on social media using #StarCount

Resources

We here at Teacher’s Pet have been hard at work to bring you some brand new and amazing resources all to do with Star Count Week. Click here to see all of our brand new Star Count Resources.

Below I have picked out a handful of resources in order to get started.

Stargazing – A Guide On How To Stargaze
The Star Count – How To Take Part Guide
Stella, The Stargazer – Original Story And Reading Quiz
Stargazing – Phases Of The Moon In February Poster

We hope these ideas have given you some inspiration for how to take part in Star Count Week.

If you have any great teaching ideas for this topic, feel free to comment below (they might even get added into the topic calendar!)

View all posts by: Michael Mountford
Categories: Topic Calendar
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