Survey will help chart effects of light pollution

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From: Emma Marrington, Campaign to Protect Rural England, Lavington Street, London.

BILL Bryson, former president of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), once said: “Glance at the night sky and what you see is history, and lots of it. Our faithful companion the North Star appears not as it is now, but as it was when its light left it sometime during the early 14th century.”

If watching the stars is the closest we can get to time travel, a campaign to raise our sights to what is above us, and to combat the light pollution that increasingly robs us of our celestial views and spoils the environment below, is all the more vital.

I am writing to ask your readers to help by counting the number of stars visible with the naked 
eye in the constellation of 
Orion, and then posting the results on the CPRE website (where they also have the 
chance to win a wonderful telescope).

Last year, 55 per cent of people who did our survey in Yorkshire could spot fewer than 10 stars, indicating severe light pollution in the region. We will plot the data on a map and use the results to campaign for better and more cost effective lighting that will once again allow us to enjoy the night sky – one of our greatest natural wonders – as our ancestors did.

Star Count 2014 runs until tomorrow and more detail is available at www.cpre.org.uk.