Starry Sky Survey
Looking for Dark Skies
Light pollution, caused by unnecessary or excess lighting, is a growing problem in Montana. It threatens our view of the Milky Way, even in remote and rural areas. Protecting our state’s dark sky heritage is important for many reasons.
Excess artificial light:
- obscures the night sky,
- wastes 3 billon dollars a year in the US in energy costs,
- is linked to negative effects on human health,
- is detrimental to wildlife and natural ecosystems.
How you can help
Contact your local library to see if it is participating in the Starry Sky Survey. If it is, you can check out a kit, which includes a sky meter, a red flashlight, detailed instructions, and a specialized star chart known as a planisphere. Select a single location, such as your backyard or nearby park, and collect readings on three separate nights. To get the most accurate readings, choose a clear, moonless night. After each reading, upload your data online.
The survey kits include everything you need to participate