Preserving Dark Skies

April 14, 2012

Orion_Isis89

Photographer: Stavros Hios 
Summary Author: Stavros Hios; Jim Foster

You can help the GLOBE at Night campaign preserve dark skies by taking a few minutes to count the stars in the constellation of Orion (or Leo or Crux) that you can see from where you live. GLOBE at Night is a citizen-science campaign to raise awareness of the impact of light pollution. People all over the world are invited to measure their night sky brightness and report their observations to a website from a computer or smart phone. People in 115 countries contributed over 75,000 measurements in 2011, making last year’s GLOBE at Night the most successful light pollution awareness campaign to date. To participate in the 2012 campaign count stars in Orion, Leo or Crux from about an hour after sunset until about 10 p.m. (local time) by no later than April 20. 

Shown above, brilliant Orion hangs over a statue of Isis at the Temple of Egyptian Gods at Nea Makri, Greece. According to Greek historians, this temple was built around 180 AD by Herodes Atticus. The four entrances to the sanctuary are flanked by pairs of statues of Isis and Osiris standing approximately 7 ft (2.1 m) tall. Ancient Egyptian astronomers believed Osiris incarnated the constellation of Orion and that Isis incarnated the dazzling star Sirius (at lower left). Photo taken on January 31, 2012. 

Photo details: Nikon D7000 camera; F2.8; ISO 640; 15 seconds exposure time; 24 mm focal length.