You don’t have to worry if you are single for Valentine’s Day. It’s enough if you’re in love with astronomy, and it can be more beautiful than having a companion alongside you. But whether you’re in love with astronomy or not, perhaps everybody likes to stare at the night sky when it’s full of stars. That can be enough, as well.
The “Globe at Night” project is offering people the chance to show their love for the stars by making light pollution observations. The project is coordinated by Constance Walker at the National Science Foundation’s National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory. Through it, astronomers are asking for help from the public in order to better understand how the night sky looks from various places of the planet.
You don’t have to be some guru in astronomy to participate
Anybody can participate in the project as long as they can locate the Orion constellation, as the coordinator Constance Walker likes to say. He put it very clear:
Light pollution makes it harder to see the stars. That means that if you tell us how many stars you can see, we can estimate how bright your sky is,
The project doesn’t require detailed knowledge about constellations or astronomy,
If you’re unlucky and it’s too cloudly in your region for Valentine’s Day, you shouldn’t despair. The 2020 campaigns, involving the constellation of Orion, will be running between 14–23 February and 14–24 March.
The constellation Orion, who’s name comes from a mythological hunter, is located on the celestial equator and it’s visible throughout the world. Its brightest stars are Rigel (Beta Orionis) and the red supergiant Betelgeuse (Alpha Orionis).
In the present, astronomers believe that Betelgeuse is close to becoming a supernova since its luminosity has become more and more dimmer in the last several months. If this happens, Orion will become less bright pretty soon.