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ALAN Conference Series

ALAN 5 will take place from the 12.-14. Nov. in Snowbird, Utah, US.

Night Sky Data to the People!

A new website presents citizen science data

Touring Exhibition

Our touring exhibition with 15 posters can be borrowed for events!

'Loss of the Night' App

The 'Loss of the Night' app measures sky brightness! Take part in a world-wide citizen science project that measures star visibility and light pollution. The app is free!

City Night Time Lapse

This growing collection of time lapse videos of nights in urban centres provides insights how city lights change throughout the course of the night

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Twinkle, twinkle little star!

Loss of the Night app measures sky brightness! Take part in a world-wide citizen science project that measures star visibility and light pollution. The app is free! Take an active part in science and become part of a global citizen science network. Measurements are sent anonymously to the GLOBE at Night database. 

NEW! The Loss of the Night App now available in 11 different languages: Arabic, Catalan, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Romanian, and Spanish.

Loss of the Night App

Researchers from the German „Loss of the Night“ project have developed an app for Android smart phones, which counts the number of visible stars in the sky. The data from the app will be used by scientists to understand light pollution on a world wide scale.

The smartphone app will evaluate sky brightness, also known as skyglow, on a worldwide scale. It will be an extension to the “GLOBE at Night” citizen science project, which has been running since 2006. This data can be used to map the distribution and changes in sky brightness, and will eventually allow scientists to investigate correlations with health, biodiversity, energy waste and other factors.

The app works by interactively asking users to say whether individual stars are visible. By determining what the faintest visible star is, the researchers learn how many stars are visible at that location, and by extension how bright the sky is.

The app was developed in partnership with the firm Cosalux (Offenbach am Main), and is based on the widely used Google Sky Map application. The development of the app was sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Research and Education, as part of Science Year 2012: “Project Earth: Our Future”.

The researchers noted that satellites that observe Earth at night measure the light that is radiating into the sky, not the brightness that is experienced by people and other organisms on the ground. They say that models can use satellite data to provide estimates of how bright the sky is, but these models need to be tested, and that the app data will be able to do this. Another drawback of the current night observing satellites, according to the researchers, is that they aren’t sensitive to certain wavelengths of light. This means that areas lit by white LED lights appear darker then they really are.

The project was funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

The app „Loss of the Night“ can be downloaded in 11 different languages. It is free of charge.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cosalux.welovestars.

For iPhones the app can be found at:

https://itunes.apple.com/de/app/loss-of-the-night/id928440562

Der Blog zum Verlust der Nacht App: 
Communication and coordination between the app's users from around the world and the scientists! New about Light pollution and the App here: http://lossofthenight.blogspot.de

The App also made it into the Top 20 best apps  in the The Guardian!

 

Contact:

Dr. Christopher Kyba,  German Research Center for Geoscience
Telegrafenberg, 14473 Potsdam

kyba@gfz-potsdam.de

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