People are being asked to take part in a consensus to count the number of stars they can see, as there are fears that light pollution is having an effect on the number that are visible.
Light pollution affects the way we see the night sky, with some cities unable to see the stars. A CPRE survey found that light pollution can disrupt wildlife and migrating birds become confused, which often ends in a fatal outcome. Reproduction and feeding patterns are also disrupted.
Humans can become stressed too, with disrupted sleep patterns and some people having to move house to get away from light pollution.
#StarCount2019 takes place throughout February. The Campaign to Protect Rural England and the British Astronomical Association are asking for people to count the stars they can see.
There are five categories of stargazing sites, ‘dark’, ‘rural’, ‘semi-rural’, ‘suburban’ and ‘urban’. Here’s a list of the best places in the East Midlands for stargazing, the first three are all accredited ‘dark sky places’ by Peak District National Park.
StarDisc, Stoney Wood, DE4 4EN. Created by Aidan Shingler, StarDisc is a celestial amphitheatre. A northern hemisphere star chart is carved into the black granite. It’s free to visit, open 24 hours a day, all year round.
Flamsteed Observatory, Brailsford, DE6 3BE
Rosliston Forestry Centre, Swadlincote, DE12 8JX
Sherwood Observatory, Mansfield, NG17 5LF
Trent Astronomical Observatory, Nottingham, NG11 8NF
CPRE is accepting results from February 2 to 23 but recommend you to head out between February 2 and 9, as the moon is at its smallest and skies are at their darkest. Submit your results on the CPRE website.