Every year we team up with the British Astronomical Association and help citizen scientists all over the country to map the darkness of our skies – last year more than 2000 people took part, with 17 results coming in for Herefordshire. Last year's results show one lucky Stretton Grandison stargazer enjoyed a truly dark sky and spotted 26 stars!
It’s simple to take part; on any clear night between the 21st and 28th of Feb, simply find the constellation of Orion, with its four corners and ‘three-star belt’, just above the southern horizon. Take 10-20 minutes to let your night vision adjust. Imagine four lines between the corner stars, and count all the stars you can see with the naked eye (no binoculars or telescopes needed) inside the lines (don’t count the corner stars).
Seeing more than thirty stars within Orion means you’re lucky enough to have truly dark skies; fewer than ten indicates severe light pollution. Light pollution has many effects on people and wildlife, even in this most rural of counties and there have long been concerns that many children will grow up without seeing either the Milky Way or the true beauty of the night sky. That's why we campaign for darker skies, click here to learn about the effects of light pollution.
More information will be posted later this month, or you can sign up here and get email alerts and information.