The skies over Herefordshire are pretty overcast this evening, and we may even have rain later tonight, but it's still worth checking for the odd window through to the stars. But Star Count 2021 will last all week so you've got plenty of time to contribute to a nationwide mapping exercise of dark (and, sadly, light-polluted) skies.
To keep Covid-safe, we're asking supporters to stay in or around their home, be it garden, balcony or even a bedroom window, and spend 10-15 minutes seeing how many stars they can spot within the easy-to-find Orion constellation. Sign up for this year's count here.
Last year's results
Sadly, as you will see from the map, few people in the county were able to see the magic of a truly dark sky, in fact only 2 observers logged more than 30 stars....... Top result was in Wigmore where a stargazer was lucky enough to count 55 stars!!! Second place for dark skies went to King's Caple, with 33 stars visible.
And disappointingly, 9 people could spot less than 10 stars which is indicative of severe light pollution. (Key below) For simple actions you can take to reduce light pollution in your area, visit our webpage by clicking here.
How to do it
It’s simple to take part; on any clear night between the 6th and 14th 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).
Once you've signed in to the Star Count you'll receive updates as to how you post your results. So get gazing!